Anchorage Wants Moose Feeding Stations
Community council wants help from Alaska Moose Federation
ANCHORAGE - An organization that’s trying to keep moose away from roads and other populated areas has been working hard in the Mat-Su Valley.
In the last two weeks the Alaska Moose Federation (AMF) has put up almost half a dozen feeding stations between Willow and Talkeetna. Now an Anchorage community council is asking for one too.
“We’ve got moose running people off trails and off the roads,” said Taku/Campbell community council co-chair Ron Jordan.
Jordan thinks diversionary trails, that would give moose a clear path to walk and possibly a feeding station, could keep moose away from big roads where the majority of them are hit in the Anchorage area. He calls it a safety issue. AMF’s Gary Olson agrees.
“We've gotten calls, repeatedly over the winter, of moose that have taken over neighborhoods, even dumpsters,” says Olson. “There are a lot of desperate moose out there that are trying to find any ounce of food they can. So if we can provide something under the guidelines of Fish and Game's permit to try, and pull them out of some of these communities or off these highways I think it would be a win-win deal.”
But moving urban moose may not be so easy.
One of the problems of pulling moose back from the roads and into the woods is that there aren’t a lot of places where they won’t be running into people. Fish and Game says if the animals are defending a food source that could create an even bigger problem.
“They've got to have at least a quarter-mile from places where people might be moving and visiting,” says Fish and Game’s Tony Kavalok. “There’s a need to reduce that opportunity for a moose who might be defending a food resource and be aggressive towards people.”
The department says they’ll consider each request to mitigate moose in Anchorage on a case-by-case basis, but in the meantime want people to know that public safety is their main concern.