January 9, 2011; Source: Daily News-Miner | The Alaska Wildlife Troopers in Fairbanks has an offer it hopes people won't refuse. Volunteers willing to turn out in the wee hours of the morning in subzero temperatures to help clear road-killed moose will go home with enough meat for their freezers to see them through the winter.
For years, Alaskan state troopers relied on Fairbanks' charities to help with moose removal and salvage operations, which includes butchering the meat and then giving it away. But now, Lt. Lantz Dahlke, who heads the Fairbanks wildlife trooper detachment, says his office is having a hard time "getting qualified groups to come out and pick up moose.”
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Although the troopers have a list that includes some 35 nonprofits that previously said they'd be willing to lend a hand, these days "we’ll call 20 to 25 different persons or groups before we can get someone to respond,” says Dahlke. Out of fairness to these individuals and the organizations they represent, sometimes they say no thanks not just because it could be as cold as 40 degrees below zero, but because they've already salvaged one moose and they don't need more meat.
Troopers are now turning to local volunteers, inviting them to be on the call list. Dahlke describes it as a take-it-or-leave it proposition. "You come in and fill out an application for a road kill and your name gets put on the list. We’ll call you and if you fail to respond to the road kill you’re off the list until next year and you have to apply again.” Tempted? See our continuing moose coverage here. —Bruce Trachtenberg