Posted by: shannynmoore | April 3, 2010

Moore Up North – Aerial Wolf Hunting



Jim Stratton is the Alaska Regional Director for the National Parks Conservation Association, a position he has held since December 2002.  Prior to joining NPCA, Jim spent 7.5 years as the director of the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation for the State of Alaska and 11 years as the Program & Finance Director for Alaska Conservation Foundation.  He started his Alaska conservation career in 1981 as the Executive Director of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council.  He also volunteers his time for a couple conservation related organizations: Training Resources for the Environmental Community – or TREC – and The Great Land Trust, Southcentral Alaska’s local land trust.  When not working or volunteering for conservation efforts, he produces and hosts the Arctic Cactus Hour, a weekly public radio program (music, not talk) on Anchorage’s KNBA.  He also likes to fly fish, is into birding, and traveling to wild and exotic places, especially those that provide a stamp for his National Park Passport.   Jim holds a degree in Recreation and Parks Management from the University of Oregon and an MBA from Alaska Pacific University.


Wade Willis is a former biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  He is a lifelong hunter and fisherman and a 20 year Alaska resident.  Wade has owned and operated a rafting, sea kayaking and hiking business for the last decade.  He is currently developing a non-profit public education and public relations called the “Science Now Project!” Wade has a BS in zoology from Colorado State University.

Bob Bell is a former member of the Alaska Board of Game.  Bob was originally appointed by Frank Murkowski in 2004 and reappointed by Sarah Palin in 2007.  His 2nd term expired on March 10.  He was replaced by Al Barrette who is awaiting confirmation by the legislature.  Bob was elected to the Anchorage Assembly and served from 1993-1999. He is the principal of F. Robert Bell & Associates, one of the largest engineering firms in Alaska.  Bob is a veteran and has lived in Alaska more than 40 years.

Dr. Vic Van Ballenberghe is a retired Alaska Department of Fish & Game wildlife biologist.  Vic has researched and studied moose and wolves across Alaska.  He served on the Alaska Board of Game under two governors. Vic is an author whose published works have been printed in National Geographic and include the book, “In the Company of Moose.”  In 2006, Vic was awarded the Olaus Murie Award for Outstanding Professional Contributions to Alaska Conservation by the Alaska Conservation Foundation.




  1. Sure would like you have asked for discussion of the history of predator control in unit 20A starting mid-1970 s . Moose and caribou populations came back from the pits and now are somewhat stable at good levels as are wolf populations.

    The experience in Unit 13 is similar.

    Moose and caribou are worth viewing too. Sometimes we have to kill some predators to have both prey and predators.

    When you get back to Homer, stop in and visit with Jim Rearden and listen carefully to what he tells you about the science of predator control

  2. nothing could be foxier than Shannyn talking about wolves.

    Another great show.

  3. Shannyn thanks so much for this show…it is very important and I wish Gordon was here to be on your show but he is looking down with a smile…

  4. Shannyn a Alaskan told me these lodges…they are having to split their visitors between hunters and non-hunters, and the non-hunters want to stay with non hunters!
    I think that is a good thing. People need to support the Park Service and all they do, the research…

  5. Shannyn very good! I didn’t see how the National parks could be more supported I thought you said you would have that on the youtube.
    Thanks so much for this… ♥

  6. Impressive & educative (as usual). Thanks! Looking forward to seeing the overtime segment. You really found different points of views from your Guests, but surprised that it remained so civil – which made it more powerful.

  7. BOG should be abolished! They are unscientific as shown by Bob Bell “Eating the moose calves like popcorn”
    Thanks for bringing up the Science! In F & G material “Wolf Management reports” they say:
    “We have not conducted any scientific wolf studies in this unit, so population information is based on Anecdotal information, sightings made during aerial moose and goat surveys, and discussion with hunters and trappers.”
    So unlike NPS who actually KNOW how many wolves are in Denali or Yukon-Charley Preserve, F & G REALLY don’t know how many wolves are in each unit.
    A example, is at a recent meeting in Eagle about the killing of the Webber pack, the Mayor claimed someone TOLD him there was a Pack of “20” wolves running around. Now ask any biologist in Denali and they will tell you a pack consists of 4.5 wolves…the Webber pack that was killed was 4…so the current F & G is basing its “Abundance management” on really unscientific findings!
    Shannyn I really like you brought up about the “Abundance, bible word”…also too! I would like to see a show about Gov candidates and what they would do with BOG or change “Certain things” in F & G as in GET SCIENCE in there…!

    • Late to post this, but Bell is an engineer. That requires a lot of science courses, so calling him anti-science is ridiculous.

  8. Here is an excellent article in today’s Juneau Empire by a retired Forest Service biologist about predator control.

    I agree with you that the BOG’s approach on predator control and creating an artificially high ungulate population is not a sound scientific approach and is being done to appease hunters from Anchorage and Fairbanks and guides for out-of-state hunters. That being said, the Board of Game and Board of Fisheries get scientific input from the Department of Fish and Game personnel and from public testimony by other researchers.

    The boards were created to help the public have input into fish and game decisions made in the state. The model for facilitating public participation is great. Sadly, the BOG for years has been stacked with hunters from the population centers who do not understand the value of wildlife if they are still alive. The other side is, the BOG has also had some very strong subsistence advocates as well.

    The current controversy over predator control illustrates the problem of having primarily one view considered when appointing people to this board. It has been going on a long time, even in the years in which Vic VanBallenberghe and Joel Bennet were on BOG. They were minority voices and were drowned out by those advocating for non-local hunting opportunities.

    You would think that for all the money spent (including state money) to attract tourists and touting our wildlife, the BOG would at least take non-consumptive uses of wildlife into higher regard!

    • Thanks Bear Woman for the link to the article, going to check it out!♥

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