- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) - Federal wildlife managers say efforts to remove a herd of more than 2,000 feral cattle on Chirikof Island that have long gone without caretakers have stopped due to funding issues.

The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge said in a press release Monday that the 2016 federal budget prohibits supporting removal efforts regarding cattle on Chirikof or on Wosnesenski Island south of the Alaska Peninsula.

The Chirikof animals are descendants of cattle first brought to the 29,000-acre island in the late 1880s to provide meat for whaling crews and fox traders.

The refuge has long been trying to remove the non-native herd and was nearing completion of an environmental impact statement to explore different options.

“It was a couple of years in,” refuge manager Steve Delehanty told The Kodiak Daily Mirror (https://bit.ly/1YTcMNb).

Delehanty said the refuge acknowledges members of the public who provided “excellent feedback” regarding the cattle. The refuge had received hundreds of public comments on the issue, he said.

“If authorized in the future, we hope to provide a draft EIS for public review and comment and address these issues,” the release says.

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Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, https://www.kodiakdailymirror.com

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