FAIRBANKS, Alaska — The start of wolf hunting season near Denali National Park has opponents calling on Gov. Bill Walker to protect the animals in light of the park’s declining wolf population.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports protesters gathered Wednesday in Fairbanks, where they howled like wolves outside a state office building. The event calling for Walker to order an emergency closure on the hunting season was organized by Alaskans For Wildlife.

The organization is seeking to ban hunting along the Stampede Trail corridor, which cuts into the park near Healy. Its members are looking to Walker for help after The Alaska Board of Game shot down their multiple requests to prohibit wolf hunting near the park boundary.

A spokeswoman says Walker plans to meet with one of the protesters this week.