University of Alaska Southeast

Egan Lecture: Predator Control in Alaska: Is Sound Science Constrained by Politics?

Juneau, AK
Date of Press Release: Nov 13, 2009

Victor Van Ballenberghe will review the scientific basis of the current wolf and bear control programs in Alaska and political constraints that inhibit application of sound science.

Passage of the intensive management statute in 1994 ushered in a new era of predator control in Alaska.  According to Van Ballenberghe, the ensuing control programs often lacked rigorous standards for justifying, implementing, monitoring and evaluating them. He writes that rigorous standards are not required by the statutes and regulations that govern the control programs thereby inhibiting application of sound science.

Van Ballenberghe has a PhD in wildlife ecology from the University of Minnesota.  He studied ecology of moose and wolves in northern Minnesota from 1967-1972.  He moved to Alaska in 1974 and worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game studying moose and wolves from 1974-1980.  In 1980 he joined the research branch of the US Forest Service studying moose and wolves in Denali National Park and on the Copper River Delta from 1980-2000.  Since 2000 he has continued the Denali moose study and done wildlife consulting work.  Van Ballenberghe was appointed to the Alaska Board of Game three times starting in 1985.

This is the last Evening at Egan event for the Fall 2009 season. UAS is working on a more limited series of lectures for Spring 2010.

All Evening at Egan lectures are simulcast on UATV Cable Channel 11 and live streamed at http://uatv.alaska.edu/. Evening at Egan podcasts can be downloaded and DVDs ordered at  http://www.uas.alaska.edu/media/productions/.

For locations and complete list and descriptions of the Evening at Egan series, please visit the Evening at Egan Website.

Contacts:

Katie Bausler

Director of Public Relations and Marketing

(907) 796-6530