September 24, 2023

Alaska Wildlife Budget Depleated

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Not an unheard statement these days that states are struggling to find money to manage wildlife. There are many reasons, two big ones being declines in license sales in some states and higher demand by taxpayers, who generally don’t contribute much if anything, to the coffers for management. They are demanding more wildlife to watch and better opportunities to do that.

Alaska is in the middle of their annual 10-day meetings to work on plans for the next years management goals as well as considering changes to rules and regulations. They are considering 167 rule changes for hunting alone.

The big boss of the Alaska Board of Game told other members that there just isn’t enough money to do everything that needs to be done. He cited money and effort that has gone into predator control as eating up huge sums of the budget.

The board has had to cut back on many programs and some are suffering because of the cuts. Herd counts have been cut in half which reduces the effectiveness of management goals and plans.

The majority of money, a budget of 35 million annually, comes from matching federal money and license sales. Last year the legislature gave the board $640,000 and that money went to predator control studies.

License fees haven’t changed in ten years. An effort last year to raise the price of licenses was killed in the legislature. There is a proposal being discussed to charge tourists a wildlife fee.

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