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Intensive Management Law
(Note: Intensive Management and Predator Control are two sides of the same coin.
Please be sure to also read our statement on Predator Control.)

Alaska's "Intensive Management" (IM) Law claims that the "highest and best use of most big game populations is to provide for high levels of harvest for human use."

Under IM Law, the Alaska Board of Game established IM areas around certain villages and cities and road networks, and set population and harvest objectives for these areas based on "historic high" populations of moose and/or caribou.1

IM Law commands predator control to meet these quotas.

The result is widespread, controversial predator control programs, such as an extreme plan in the eastern interior to kill 75-80% of wolves over nearly 20,000 square miles, and 60% of grizzly bears over 4,000 square miles.2

It is a potentially disastrous mistake to set population objectives based on "historic highs." For one thing, all wildlife populations fluctuate because of weather, changing habitat, predation, disease, and many other factors. Moreover, the historic highs in these areas were unnaturally inflated by over a decade of extensive poisoning and predator control by the federal government prior to Alaska statehood.

Peak populations proved short-lived and unsustainable, resulting in damaged, over-browsed habitat and massive die-offs during deep snows.

IM Law also requires more hunters and greater hunter access in order to meet the harvest objectives. In areas where ATV and ORV abuse is already prevalent, IM harvest goals only ensure further abuse and create hunter overcrowding and user conflicts.

Many Alaskans, including our members, sustain their families with moose and caribou. This is even more reason to use good science and prudent conservation strategies to manage our wildlife over the long term.

When politics trumps biology, wildlife and habitat lose. When that happens, all hunters lose.

Alaska's wildlife laws need to be reformed so that biologists and managers can once again manage our wildlife based on adaptive management strategies that fully consider the unique and changing nature of each individual game management unit.

1 IM Statutes       IM Administrative Code       IM Designations and Objectives

2 Opinion Article on Predator Control Expansion

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