Executive Summary

The primary goal of predator management in Alaska is to increase prey populations for human harvest. Governor Tony Knowles suspended Alaska's wolf control program in late 1994 and stated 3 criteria for the reinstatement of wolf control: it must be based on solid science; it must make economic sense for Alaskans; and it must have broad public support. The Committee on Management of Wolf and Bear Populations in Alaska was asked to evaluate the biological underpinnings of predator control and management in Alaska and assess its economic impacts. Such an evaluation is necessary, but nonetheless not sufficient to satisfy Governor Knowles' stated criteria. In particular, the committee was not asked to assess whether wolf control should be conducted in Alaska nor was the committee asked to design a program that would have broad public support. Both issues are political matters that will be decided by the Alaskan public and their elected officials.

The evaluation of the biology and economics of predator management requires understanding of the ecological, economic and political contexts in which the program is carried out because all these components determine which programs are feasible and effective. One must have some measure of how much more prey people feel they need and if they are willing to devote the resources needed to achieve the goal. How long should predator control be in effect, by what methods, over how large an area, and how many animals need to be removed? Finally, any predator management program must be planned in such a way that its impact on the adult prey population can be measured. Thus the report first describes the socioeconomic and ecological context for wildlife management in Alaska. This is followed by a discussion of the biological aspects of wolf



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Wolves, Bears, and their Prey in Alaska: Biological and Social Challenges in Wildlife Management Executive Summary The primary goal of predator management in Alaska is to increase prey populations for human harvest. Governor Tony Knowles suspended Alaska's wolf control program in late 1994 and stated 3 criteria for the reinstatement of wolf control: it must be based on solid science; it must make economic sense for Alaskans; and it must have broad public support. The Committee on Management of Wolf and Bear Populations in Alaska was asked to evaluate the biological underpinnings of predator control and management in Alaska and assess its economic impacts. Such an evaluation is necessary, but nonetheless not sufficient to satisfy Governor Knowles' stated criteria. In particular, the committee was not asked to assess whether wolf control should be conducted in Alaska nor was the committee asked to design a program that would have broad public support. Both issues are political matters that will be decided by the Alaskan public and their elected officials. The evaluation of the biology and economics of predator management requires understanding of the ecological, economic and political contexts in which the program is carried out because all these components determine which programs are feasible and effective. One must have some measure of how much more prey people feel they need and if they are willing to devote the resources needed to achieve the goal. How long should predator control be in effect, by what methods, over how large an area, and how many animals need to be removed? Finally, any predator management program must be planned in such a way that its impact on the adult prey population can be measured. Thus the report first describes the socioeconomic and ecological context for wildlife management in Alaska. This is followed by a discussion of the biological aspects of wolf

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Wolves, Bears, and their Prey in Alaska: Biological and Social Challenges in Wildlife Management and bear management, a discussion of the kinds of economic analysis that is appropriate to assessing the impact of predator management programs, and an analysis of decision-making processes. The final chapter presents the committee's conclusions and recommendations. PREDATOR CONTROL AND MANAGEMENT: PAST AND PRESENT Predator control in Alaska has paralleled that elsewhere in the United States. During the first half of the century, predator control was seen as important for both human safety and protection of prey, especially livestock. The goal of most research on predators was to determine how to reduce their numbers. Data on their life histories, their ecological roles, and predator-prey relationship were rarely collected. As public attitudes shifted during the 1960s and 1970s, predator control programs were increasingly questioned and more broadly-based data were gathered on predator ecology. In the 1980s and 1990s, the public increasingly demanded active management of nongame species. Controversies over predator control and management continue today in many states. Wildlife management policies in Alaska are set by the Board of Game (BOG) whose members are appointed by the Governor and require confirmation by the state legislature. Management of wildlife in Alaska has been carried out by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's (ADFG) Division of Wildlife Conservation. The BOG holds two formal meetings each year in each region, during which all the regulations for that region are considered and public input is solicited. Most management actions implemented by ADFG are not controversial, but wolf control and management have become increasingly difficult because public attitudes toward predator control are changing. ALASKA'S PEOPLE, BIOMES, AND WILDLIFE SPECIES OF CONCERN About 610,00 people live in Alaska, most of them in and around Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and a number of smaller south-coastal cities. Alaskan Natives comprise 16.5% of the state's population and most Alaskan Natives live in rural communities. About 80% of the non-indigenous residents of Alaska live in urban communities. About 60 percent of the land is in federal ownership, 28% is in state ownership, and 12% are Native lands. Only 1% is in private, non-Native land. Human impacts on Alaskan ecosystems are much less than in other parts of the United States. In northern Canada and Alaska, habitats and the large mammal system are largely intact. Alaska's biomes are diverse, ranging from temperate rainforest to arctic tundra. Wildlife management activities are correspondingly diverse but most predator control efforts have been carried out in the interior boreal forest region.

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Wolves, Bears, and their Prey in Alaska: Biological and Social Challenges in Wildlife Management Wolves, bears, and their primary prey differ strikingly in their characteristics and requirements and their responses to management. In Alaska, wolves are found over most of their historic range at densities that are strongly correlated with variations in ungulate biomass. Wolves disperse over great distances and readily colonize new habitats as prey become available. In most packs, only one female reproduces each year. Consequently, populations with larger packs have a lower proportion of breeders than populations with smaller packs. Wolves die of a variety of natural factors, such as starvation, accidents, disease, and intraspecific strife, and these factors may cause annual mortality rates as high as 57% in some years. Under favorable conditions, wolf populations can increase as rapidly as 50% per year, and rates of increase are often higher after heavy exploitation because per capita food availability is typically high under those conditions. Because of their high reproductive rates, wolves can usually maintain their populations even if annual mortality rates are as high as 30% of the early population. For the same reason, wolf populations typically rebound to pre-control densities within 4-5 years after termination of control efforts. Black bears are closely associated with forests, but brown, or grizzly, bears are larger, live in more open country, and are usually found at much lower densities than black bears. Although the distribution of both species has dramatically decreased since European settlement of North America, they survive in most of their historical range in Alaska. During the part of the year when they are active, bears spend most of their time feeding. Bears are relatively efficient at catching the newborn ungulates in spring. Bears have long interbirth intervals and are slow to mature. The low reproductive rate of bears is balanced by high annual adult survival rates, but because of their low reproductive rates, bear populations are easily reduced by hunting and recover slowly. Brown bear densities in Alaska are highest in coastal regions where abundant salmon and good vegetation are available for them to eat. Male bears spend most of their lives as solitary individuals, whereas females are either alone or with their latest litter of cubs. Because bears move over large areas, and retire to their dens in winter when they would otherwise be easy to count, they are difficult to census and estimates of their densities are poorer than for wolves. Caribou inhabit the high Arctic, tundra, boreal and sub-boreal forests, and wet interior mountains across much of the Northern Hemisphere, and are found in most regions of Alaska. Most caribou live in herds that annually move over extensive areas, sometimes migrating hundreds of kilometers between wintering areas and calving-summering grounds. Female caribou usually show strong fidelity to the specific calving grounds of the herd, returning each year to the same general area to give birth. Caribou are primarily grazers. They eat a variety of plants during summer, but subsist on lichens during winter. In contrast, moose are solitary, nonmigratory browsers that eat primarily leaves and tender stems of woody plants. An area that has burned 25 years earlier

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Wolves, Bears, and their Prey in Alaska: Biological and Social Challenges in Wildlife Management provides ideal moose habitat. Many female moose give birth to their first calf at two years of age and twinning is common during subsequent pregnancies. Caribou do not reach breeding age until their third year and usually give birth to a single calf per year. Therefore, moose populations can recover from depression faster than caribou if the quality and quantity of forage is adequate. The high survival rates of adult female moose and caribou, which are usually above 85% per year, mean that these species can thrive even when calf mortality is substantial. PREDATOR-PREY INTERACTIONS It might seem obvious that, if predator numbers are reduced, prey numbers should increase, but predator-prey interactions are not that simple. Predators and prey interact in an open system, subject to many influences. Prey numbers are influenced by weather and habitat quality, primarily food quality and abundance. Not surprisingly, models of predator-prey interactions predict a wide array of results depending on characteristics of predators, prey, and the environment in which they interact. The major results of predator-prey models most relevant to wolves and bears and their prey are the following: The removal of predators from a plant-herbivore-predator interaction system can either stabilize or destabilize herbivore population dynamics. Two alternative stable states may exist in predator-prey systems, with a lower equilibrium corresponding to very low prey and predator populations, and a higher equilibrium corresponding to high predator and prey populations (with the prey close to their carrying capacity). If a regression analysis is used to determine what controls prey populations in a predator-prey system, the factor that explains the greatest proportion of the variance in prey population growth rates depends largely on where ''noise" enters the system, and not on what actually controls the dynamics. Correlative studies have limited value in inferring causation. The interactions between prey and their plant resources need to be understood. The task of identifying which "model" describes a particular situation is technically challenging. Because of these challenges, analysis of predator control in Alaska is a major scientific task, and long-term management could be improved if a more solid understanding of wolf-caribou or wolf-moose interactions were available. Nevertheless, some of the long-term data sets on wildlife populations in Alaska are among the best available anywhere. ADFG scientists regularly publish their data in peer-reviewed literature, so their data and methods of analysis are carefully scrutinized by scientists elsewhere.

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Wolves, Bears, and their Prey in Alaska: Biological and Social Challenges in Wildlife Management WOLF AND BEAR MANAGEMENT: EXPERIMENTS AND EVALUATIONS In addition to many studies on the population ecology of wolves, bears, moose, and caribou, a number of experiments have been conducted in Alaska and elsewhere in which wolf and/or bear numbers were reduced or otherwise altered and responses of caribou and/or moose populations were monitored. These experiments provide the best data with which to evaluate the biological basis of predator control as a management tool to increase ungulate numbers. In most of these experiments, wolves were killed, but some used translocation or diversionary feeding of wolves, bears, or both. Each of these predator reduction experiments was initiated because it was believed that decreasing the number of predators would result in increased ungulate densities and, as a consequence, increase hunter success. There was also the hope that higher densities of both predators and prey might persist for many years after predator control stopped. Each experiment began when ungulate densities were low or declining. Hunting was sometimes simultaneously reduced. Although considerable time and effort was expended to plan, design, and implement these experiments, the results are less informative than might have been hoped. Part of the problem is due to the size of the areas in which the experiments were carried out, the difficulty of gathering the needed information, and budgetary limits. Further, some of these experiments were primarily management actions that were based on particular assumptions about predator-prey dynamics but were not designed to test those assumptions. As a result, less has been learned from these experiments than would have been possible had they been better designed and executed, and if the results had been more extensively monitored. Although considerable data were gathered on population densities and trends of moose, caribou, and wolves prior to reaching a decision to initiate a control action, data on bear population densities were generally poor. In addition, assessments of habitat quality were limited primarily to indirect indices of ungulate nutrition (body weight, fat deposits, bone growth, pregnancy rates, calf:cow ratios). As a result, in most cases, data to support the judgments that habitats in the control area could support increased moose and caribou populations for more than a few years were limited. Several control experiments failed to increase ungulate populations, possibly because predation rates by bears were high, habitat quality was poor, or the area and duration were insufficient. The degree to which, and the duration over which, wolf numbers were reduced varied considerably among experiments. In addition, wolf control was sometimes accompanied by other changes, such as reduction or elimination of hunting and trapping. The presence of such confounding variables makes it impossible to determine the relative contributions of the factors that were altered to changes in ungulate population densities.

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Wolves, Bears, and their Prey in Alaska: Biological and Social Challenges in Wildlife Management Surprisingly, given the expense of conducting control experiments, the results of most experiments have been poorly monitored. In only two cases (wolf control on Vancouver Island, BC and Finlayson, Yukon) was there an attempt to measure whether hunter success increased, and it did in both. Only five experiments included measures as to whether ungulate population densities actually increased following predator control actions, but in 4 of these ungulate numbers did increase. During and after the other control experiments only indirect results, such as calf:cow ratios, were assessed, and sometimes they were determined for only one or two years. Political pressures have created conditions that favor attempts to achieve quick, short-term results from predator control experiments by altering more than one factor simultaneously. In addition, budgetary constraints have led to the use of indirect measures of success that are less expensive in the short-term but which are not good indicators of population trends. ADFG did not measure hunter behavior before and after wolf control and cannot empirically show changes in where people hunted, their success per unit effort, and their satisfaction about changes in game densities that may have resulted from predator control efforts. There are presently insufficient data to assess whether non-lethal methods of predator management are effective. It is too early to evaluate the effectiveness of sterilization of wolves in terms of its impact on ungulate populations. Diversionary feeding to divert wolf and bear predation on ungulates, a time-consuming and expensive process, has yielded equivocal results. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF PREDATOR CONTROL Economic impacts depend, to a large degree, on public values. In democratic societies, government programs should be based upon widely shared public goals that legitimize the actions taken and the allocation of public financial and human resources to those activities. Funds for wildlife management are largely from license sales and federal aid from excise taxes on firearms and ammunition. Thus many hunters believe that their interests should be a primary concern in wildlife management. Nevertheless, some general public funds are appropriated for wildlife management. Their expenditure implies that the general public also is willing to pay for wildlife management. Analysis of the social and economic dimensions of wildlife management programs must recognize that people differ in their attitudes, their values, and their economic situation. Consequently, there will be differences in how they view those programs. Alaskan Natives, other Alaskan residents, and people outside Alaska who visit there or might otherwise take an interest in its wildlife will react to wildlife management programs in distinctive ways and their reactions will affect the Alaskan economy in correspondingly distinctive ways. Current attitudes toward predator control are varied. Most people disapprove

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Wolves, Bears, and their Prey in Alaska: Biological and Social Challenges in Wildlife Management of indiscriminate population reductions, poisoning predators, denning, or aerial gunning. Most Alaskans approve of hunting and a majority purchase hunting licenses at some time during their lives. Wolves and bears in Alaska also have high nonconsumptive values and most Alaskans desire more state managed areas for wildlife viewing. For two reasons, the cost of a wolf control effort is likely to increase substantially if prevailing attitudes among the Alaska general public, especially urban residents and nonhunters, persist. First, most of the public objects to predator control except in specific geographic areas where a significant decrease in ungulate populations has been clearly and convincingly related to wolf and/or bear predation, and where significant economic or cultural hardship has been inflicted on resident hunters. Demonstrating and communicating this level of impact will inevitably increase management costs. Second, most of the Alaska public objects to control methods perceived as inhumane or unfair. Acceptable control methods tend to be more costly, labor intensive, time-consuming, or technically challenging. At the same time, the economic impacts resulting from public objections to wolf control efforts might be partially offset in areas where there is widespread support for wolf control among local peoples who derive economic and practical benefits from the activity. A majority of nonconsumptive wildlife users and urban wildlife enthusiasts believe that intensive wolf and bear control reflects a well-entrenched bias among Alaska game management officials and hunter interests. This view encourages the use of legislative and judiciary methods for promoting policy change, rather than trying to exercise influence on administrative agencies. The success of the 1997 ballot initiative involving aerial hunting of predators will likely reinforce this perception. These views are likely to result in substantially greater management-associated costs, because of the heavy economic burden created by using legislation and litigation as a means of achieving policy goals. Hunting and tourism provide an important contribution to the Alaskan economy in terms of both employment and expenditures. There are two reasons why data on employment and expenditures can be somewhat misleading for the purpose of assessing the economic benefits of predator control and/or the economic consequences of a tourism disruption triggered by public opposition to wolf control. First, although lay discussions of economic effects focus on jobs gained or lost, the more relevant focus is the increase or decrease in employment that would be associated with implementing or canceling a predator control program. Total versus marginal economic impact is an important economic distinction. The total impact measures the entire contribution of a sector. The marginal impact measures the increment or decrement in contribution associated with some expansion or contraction in the level of activity within the sector. If what is at issue is the total elimination of a sector, whether hunting or tourism, the total impact is the appropriate measure to use. But, if the change is smaller than that, then the correct measure is the marginal impact of the change. For example, if it

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Wolves, Bears, and their Prey in Alaska: Biological and Social Challenges in Wildlife Management involves some increment in hunting, or some decrement in tourism, then the appropriate quantity is not the total value of all hunting or all tourism, but rather the value of the particular increment or decrement anticipated to occur. This is harder to determine because it involves forecasting the specific magnitude of the increment or decrement in activity, as well as assessing the economic value associated with this change. Second, expenditure is generally not a correct measure of value and does not reflect the broader social perspective in the sense of resources used up or changes in people's well-being. There is a basic distinction between financial or accounting revenues or costs and economic benefits or costs. Accounting revenues and costs reflect an assessment of monetary inflows and outflows according to the principles and conventions of certain accounting rules. Economic costs and benefits are intended to reflect a broader social perspective based on real costs, in the sense of resources actually used up, and real benefits, in the sense of actual changes in people's well-being. Although not entirely unrelated to financial revenues and costs, economic benefits and costs represent a different standpoint for assessment. If a predator control program actually increases moose or caribou populations, the balance sheet of the potential impacts would consist of three main items: the marginal benefit of whatever increment occurs in the populations of prey species such as moose and caribou; the marginal cost of planning and implementing the predator control program itself; and any marginal reduction in benefit associated with the decrement in the predator population. The benefits can be subdivided into five components: (1) The gain in utility (that is, satisfaction or enjoyment) for residents from i increased recreation associated with moose and caribou. (2) The gain in utility for nonresident from increased recreation associated with moose and caribou. (3) Any other gain in utility for residents arising from the increment in moose and caribou populations. (4) Any other gain in utility for nonresident arising from the increment in moose and caribou populations. (5) The gain in personal income from employment and profits for residents resulting from increased recreation or tourism in Alaska by residents or nonresident. The costs similarly can be subdivided into: (6) The costs to government agencies and others for planning and implementing the predator control program. (7) Any loss of utility for residents associated with the reduction in predator populations. (8) Any loss of utility for nonresident associated with the reduction in predator populations. (9) Any loss in personal income from employment and profits for residents resulting from reduced tourism in Alaska by nonresident triggered by their reaction to the predator control program. There are two core problems in assessing the economic benefits for hunting and wildlife viewing that might result from any increase in ungulate populations: predicting the change in recreational behavior—both the total level of recreational activity and its allocation among sites—and estimating the increment in

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Wolves, Bears, and their Prey in Alaska: Biological and Social Challenges in Wildlife Management consumer's surplus—the difference between what an item is worth to a consumer and what he actually pays for it—from recreation that is associated with this change in activity. Neither of these can be assessed from biological models of animal populations. Instead, both require a model of people's preferences and behavior. In addition to the impact on recreation involving predator and prey species, and on personal income from employment and profit in Alaska, people may be affected by predator control programs in various other ways that reflect their concerns and involvement with these animals. Both residents and nonresidents might experience a gain or loss of utility from a predator control program for reasons separate from their interest in recreation, meat, hides, or other such uses of the animals. For example, they might care for the prey species and want it to be preserved regardless of whether they themselves plan to view it, hunt it, or eat it. Or they may care for the well-being of Native peoples whose way of life depends on the prey species. If people feel this way, they will experience a gain or loss of utility from a predator control program that must be accounted for in an economic analysis, just as gains or losses associated with impacts on recreation, food, or personal income are counted. The value people place on an item for motives that are separate from their interest in using the item is known as existence value, nonuse value, or passive-use value. In many cases, people with no interest in using an item still believe it should be preserved and would be willing to pay something to ensure this. Their value will not be reflected in their use of the item, but it could be reflected in other forms of behavior, such as engaging in political or charitable activities, or engaging in a consumer boycott to express displeasure. Consequently, existence value cannot be discerned by analyzing people's demand to use the item by means of conventional market data. Existence value can, however, be estimated using a type of survey known as contingent valuation. In the case of predator control in Alaska, evidence strongly suggests that existence values are important, at least for some segments of the resident and nonresident populations. The widespread public support for wolf protection and restoration in the lower 48 states and a general perception of wolves and brown bears as imperiled species, as well as the public controversy about wolf control within Alaska, point to this conclusion. However, the magnitude of the existence values, for both prey and predator species, which includes concern by non-Natives for the well-being of Native peoples in the absence of predator control, is unknown. No contingent valuation study on existence values associated with predator control has been conducted in Alaska. Depending on the circumstances and the method of implementation, a boycott of tourism in Alaska is likely if a wolf control program were again authorized. Because the situation is so variable, it is impossible to predict with precision the extent of a future boycott or the magnitude of its effect on the state's economy. In addition to any loss of personal income from changes in tourism

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Wolves, Bears, and their Prey in Alaska: Biological and Social Challenges in Wildlife Management and any loss of utility for residents or nonresident associated with reduction in predator populations, there are costs to government agencies and others associated with planning and implementing a predator control program. When calculating such costs, the relevant concept is the increment in cost due to the program, that is, its marginal cost. In this context opportunity costs may be more significant than direct costs. For an agency with a relatively fixed budget and staff, part of the incremental cost of providing a new activity may be the other services that have to be reduced or postponed when agency personnel are diverted to work on the new activity. To the extent that a program creates troublesome precedents for an agency or limits its future range of options, these too are opportunity costs associated with the program. Thus, the opportunity cost of the activity can be more significant than the direct costs. The committee summarizes and synthesizes its findings in the following conclusions, which are presented in brief below and explained at greater length in chapter 8. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Biological Issues Conclusion 1: Wolves and bears in combination can limit prey populations. There is clear evidence that wolves and bears can, under certain conditions, keep moose and caribou populations suppressed for many years, but evidence is insufficient to establish the existence of dual stable states, one of which has high densities of both predators and prey. Conclusion 2: Wolf control has resulted in prey increases only when wolves were seriously reduced over a large area for at least four years. Recommendation: Wolves and bears should be managed using an "adaptive management" approach in which management actions are planned so that it is possible to assess their outcome. That way managers can learn from the experience and avoid actions with uninterpretable outcomes or low probability of achieving their stated goals. Management agencies should be given the resources to conduct their management projects as basic research. Conclusion 3: Expectations that managed populations in Alaska will remain stable are not justified. Recommendation: Management objectives aimed at achieving stable populations of wolves, bears, and their prey should recognize that fluctuations in populations can be expected and provisions made for them in management plans. Before any predator management efforts are undertaken, the status of the predator and prey populations should be evaluated (including whether they are increasing

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Wolves, Bears, and their Prey in Alaska: Biological and Social Challenges in Wildlife Management or decreasing), and the carrying capacity of the prey's environment should be evaluated. Conclusion 4: Data on habitat quality are inadequate. Recommendation: ADFG should broaden the scope of their studies of both predator and prey species. They should collect better data on habitat quality and on bear ecology. They should continue to increase their development of long-term data sets. Three areas exist for which additional data are especially needed: bear foraging and population ecology, quantitative and qualitative changes in habitats, and the long-term consequences of predator control. Future research on these topics needs to be coordinated among the agencies that share jurisdictional authority over wildlife and wildlife habitats. The use of controlled fire should be further investigated as a tool for increasing the carrying capacity of moose habitat. Conclusion 5: Modeling of population dynamics will enhance use of data already collected and enable more efficient use of limited resources. Recommendation: Collaborative relationships among ADFG and the land management agencies and jurisdictions should be strengthened so that habitat studies and habitat management efforts are well-coordinated. Conclusion 6: Wolves, bears, and their prey are vulnerable to human actions but in different ways. Recommendation: Wildlife policy makers in Alaska should be more sensitive to signs of overharvest and more conservative in setting hunting regulations and designing control efforts, particularly with moose, caribou and bears. Conclusion 7: The design of most past experiments and the data collected do not allow firm conclusions about whether wolf and bear reductions caused an increase in prey populations that lasted long after predator control ceased. Recommendation: Future experiments should be based on more thorough assessment of baseline conditions and should be designed so the causes of subsequent population changes can be determined. Conclusion 8: Perfect prediction is unattainable. Conclusion 9: Many past predator control and management activities have been insufficiently monitored. Recommendation: All control activities should be viewed as experiments with clear predictions. Control activities should be designed to include clearly specified monitoring protocols of sufficient duration to enable determination of whether the predictions are borne out and why.

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Wolves, Bears, and their Prey in Alaska: Biological and Social Challenges in Wildlife Management Economic Aspects of Predator Management Conclusion 10: Benefit-cost analyses of management changes require at least three categories of information: biological relationships among predators, prey, and their environment; human behavioral response to changes in perceived quality of the use in question (for example, hunting success), and frameworks for valuing the change in use (or availability) of the resource. Conclusion 11: Evaluations of Alaska predator control programs have not gathered, analyzed, and assessed the full economic costs and benefits. Recommendation: ADFG should increase its efforts to evaluate human responses to management actions at spatial and temporal scales sufficiently large to match the scale of the affected market. Travel cost models and contingent valuation should be applied to past and future management actions to improve assessments of value. Conclusion 12: Social science research in Alaska is needed to support the design and evaluation of predator control experiments. Recommendation: A formal procedure should be created, with adequate resources and trained personnel, to gather relevant economic, social, and cultural data, and incorporate this information into management and decision-making processes. The specific tools of benefit-cost analysis and applied anthropology should be used in the analyses performed on those data. Conclusion 13: Wildlife is, by definition, a public resource. Recommendation: Procedures should be developed to allow the public to be substantively involved at all stages of both the policy and regulatory process. Conclusion 14: Greater potential for agreement may exist among Alaska's diverse constituency than is generally assumed. Recommendation: ADFG and the Alaska public should engage in the development of a long-term strategic plan for the State's wildlife resources that is periodically revised, as necessary. Conclusion 15: Conflicts over management and control of predators are likely to continue indefinitely. Recommendation: A formal conflict resolution process should be developed and adopted to help avoid the kind of intractable and wasteful dispute that has characterized the recent history of wolf and bear management in Alaska. Conclusion 16: Decentralization of decision-making is not a panacea for solving wildlife management problems, but is likely to be helpful in many circumstances, particularly in rural communities.

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Wolves, Bears, and their Prey in Alaska: Biological and Social Challenges in Wildlife Management Recommendation: Decision-making should be partly decentralized through formal consultation procedures where the views of local groups are solicited before decisions are made. In management situations involving rural and indigenous groups, more refined co-management decision-making structures should be developed where appropriate. Conclusion 17: Interagency cooperation could improve management, reduce public confusion, and eliminate unnecessary duplication. Recommendation: ADFG should assume a leadership role in strengthening cooperative agreements between the various jurisdictions and agencies involved in wolf and bear management in Alaska.