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Alaska Department of Fish & Game and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Opinion / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / January 11, 2005

To the Editor:

I would like to express my complete disgust over the way the News-Miner has become the voice of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. There are two sides to every story. It is time you started reporting both! Whatever happened to objective reporting and responsible journalism?

Even though ADF&G met its harvest objective of antlerless moose in Unit 20 and reports that the cow-to-bull and cow-to-calf ratios are very good, it is still planning to repeat the hunt next fall. Did anyone take into account the number of illegal animals that were also harvested? Doesn't anyone think it makes sense to wait at least one or two years to see the results?

This winter, we are experiencing a lot more snowfall than usual in our area, and I for one, would expect a large moose winter-kill. Don Young also stated that some zones still had a large moose density. The hunt was held in the fall and early winter, and most of the animals were taken in places that are easy for hunters to reach. Moose also form loose-knit bands in the valleys in the winter. I know it's harder to count moose in the spring and summer, but they won't be moving around much until then, and the ADF&G needs their data now, so they can plan another hunt. Who cares about real data?

The News-Miner and ADF&G have also failed to protect the local residents of these hunt areas. I live in Unit 20A in the Ferry Trail Management Area. There are 29 homes and cabins in our community. Many of these homes have permanent residents and small children. During the last hunt, the News-Miner reported that Ferry was easy access. Hunters were trespassing, camping on private property, and shooting towards homes and trails. Many of these campers also had open, unattended fires.

If anything happens to my family or my property as a result of all this behavior, Don Young, ADF&G and the News-Miner better be ready for a lawsuit for reckless endangerment.

Kathleen Lake / Ferry

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