Confusion over Alaska roadkill rule fuels Facebook debate
A moose carcass discarded near a bike trail along the Old Glenn Highway has been removed.
The remains became the focal point for comments after a Facebook video was posted along with a scolding letter to the salvager.
People can sign up for the roadkill salvage program run by the state Department of Fish and Game. The Alaska Moose Federation (AMF) is a local charity that helps its members haul away roadkill carcasses to a place the animal can be easily processed. Don Dyer, the federation’s executive director, posted the video showing the blood-stained snow where the cow moose was butchered and where her remains were left in a ditch near the bike trail.
Jeff Gail was called Saturday by the Department of Public Safety to the site of the moose kill. He posted that he spent a couple of hours quartering the carcass with his family in subzero temperatures.
Gail said while he was out butchering the animal a trooper stopped by and they discussed leaving the rest of the carcass down an embankment near the bike trail. Gail said the trooper thought that was within the guidelines.
The next day, Don Dyer with AMF saw birds circling in the area, so he went to investigate and came across the carcass. He called the remains, "Absolutely disgusting, disrespectful, disgraceful, and DANGEROUS!" in a post with the graphic video, which included images of a moose fetus frozen to the bike path.
Sgt. Dan Dahl with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers on Monday said if a moose is killed on a road it becomes state property. Those who have signed up for the roadkill program will be notified when their name comes up on the list. Dahl said dispatch tries to call people in nearby areas so the response time is as quick as possible.
Sgt. Dahl said whoever is called to salvage the meat is responsible to clean up the remains, either removing them or making sure they are out of sight of the public. If they don't, Dahl said they could receive a citation and be taken off the list for future recovery.
Dyer, who found the moose remains, posted on social media that the AMF would help the salvager haul out the carcass. Dyer said he met up with Jeff Gail, the salvager, Monday morning and the two brought the carcass to the dump.
Before that could happen, someone saw the AMF post and Gail's post and put the two together — creating a social media "tornado" of responses that Dyer said had to be moderated. Dyer tried to keep only the more positive, constructive posts up.
Gail said he didn't take the comments personally and that after reading his side of the story many of the people apologized for their comments. Gail called the incident a fiasco, but said it was an educational experience.
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