Murkowski Names 6 to Board of Game

Anchorage Daily News / Mike Chambers, Associated Press Writer / Published 1-17-03


JUNEAU (January 17, 4:45 p.m. AST) - In appointing six new members to the state Board of Game on Friday, Gov. Frank Murkowski said he will take a second look at predator control programs that have spared Alaska's wolves.

The governor said the state needs to responsibly manage predators in Alaska based on scientific findings and not politics.

It's an abrupt change from Democrat Gov. Tony Knowles who maintained a no-kill policy on wolves before leaving office in December.

"My intention is to keep politics out of this area as much as possible,"

Murkowski said. The governor said he did not fear a tourism boycott like those threatened by environmental groups in the mid-1990s.

"I think if they come to see no wildlife because of populations of wolves, that's not what they come for," Murkowski said.

"We want the visitors to see a myriad of wildlife and not just one species."

Murkowski appointed six people to the state game board on Friday, including two Fairbanks game guides who echoed his support for predator control in Alaska.

"Two things I am interested in are sustainable yield and predator control," said Sharon McLeod-Everette, a hunting guide from Fairbanks.

She replaces Julie Maier on March 1 and her term lasts three years.

Other new members are:

  • Pete Buist, a licensed master hunting guide and past president of the Alaska Outdoor Council and the Alaska Trappers Association. Buist replaces Vic Van Ballenberghe and his term expires March 1, 2005.
  • Michael Fleagle, of McGrath, is a hunter, trapper and subsistence user. He has served on the board of directors of Doyon Ltd. since 1996 and is president of the Native village of Manley Hot Springs. Fleagle replaces Tim Towarak and will serve until March 1, 2004.
  • Ted Spraker, of Soldotna, is a former area wildlife biologist for the Kenai Peninsula. He replaces Jack Lentfer and his term runs until March 1, 2005.
  • Ron Somerville, of Juneau, who has worked as a paid consultant to GOP lawmakers opposed to a subsistence constitutional amendment. Somerville, a commercial fisherman and guide, replaces Joel Bennett. Somerville will serve until March 1, 2005.
  • Cliff Judkins, of Wasilla, is the former owner of the Crown Point Lodge at Moose Pass and serves on the Susitna fish and game advisory committee. He replaces Rod Hardy and his term ends March 1, 2006.

Murkowski also named three University of Alaska graduates to the school's board of regents. They are Cynthia Henry, James Hayes and Mike Snowden.

     Henry is a member of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly and Hayes is a former mayor of Fairbanks. Their terms end in February 2011. Snowden is a resident of Sitka and has served on the board of directors at the National Bank of Alaska. His term ends March 2009.

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