Senate approves House version of land-and-shoot bill

Posted: Wednesday, April 05, 2000

JUNEAU (AP) -- The Senate has accepted the House version of a bill allowing land-and-shoot hunting of wolves in some areas, sending the measure to an almost certain veto by Gov. Tony Knowles.

The Senate voted for the measure 16-4 Wednesday. Combined with a 27-11 vote in the House, that's more than enough to override a veto.

The bill reverses an initiative approved by voters in 1996 banning the killing of wolves by hunters on the same day they fly over hunting areas.

Sen. Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, sponsored the bill because Knowles has refused to implement wolf-killing measures to boost game populations.

The version that originally passed the Senate would have allowed land-and-shoot wolf hunting in most of the state. But the House changed the measure to allow the practice only in areas the Board of Game has designated for predator control.

Residents of McGrath and a few other areas have complained that wolves are creating a shortage of moose and caribou for hunters.

''This allows us to help them without allowing land-and-shoot in large areas of the state,'' Kelly said, urging the Senate to accept the House changes.

Opponents of the bill, including Knowles, say it flies in the face of the 1996 vote.

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