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We're All Outsiders

Letters / The Anchorage Press / January 27, 2005


I'd like to comment on Sara Spanial's chastisement, ("Oh, beeswax," January 20-26) of a letter from Constance Brady, a gal from Vegas who opined concerns over Alaska's aerial wolf predator control program.

First, Spanial makes a common mistake by assuming this spate of wolf killing is in the hands of the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, whom she anticipates as having been "formally educated in the field." In actuality, Murkowski took such responsibilities from these professionals and handed them to his handpicked Board of Game. The BOG consists of trappers, big game hunters and guides. Many are associated with the Alaska Outdoor Council, which is in bed with the National Rifle Association, an organization that originates - guess where? - in the Lower 48.

My point is, bag limits and hunting seasons are in the hands of a bunch of folks who look at Alaska's wildlife as something to be managed for consumption and sport. I have researched and published many examples of aerial wolf hunters hollering about what fun it is to run wolves to exhaustion before popping them off. This is not population management, this is thrill-killing.

As for Spanial's criticism that Brady is writing from Las Vegas, "another person in the Lower 48 who thinks they know what's best for us here in Alaska’" " what is all this brouhaha about Outside influence? Who are we kidding, except ourselves? The No. 1 and 2 economic contributors to Alaska's economy are oil and tourism. So let's take a look: it's not the Girdwood Gas Guys, it's British Petroleum. Caribbean Cruises is not headquartered in Cordova. Princess Lines is not from Palmer. Alaska's politics and economics have long been influenced by Outside money.

Wolves in the Lower 48 have nearly been wiped out to extinction. If Constance Brady envisions some sense of protective ownership for wolves in Alaska, she has every right. Wolves in Alaska belong to everyone.

Cat Stephenson / Anchorage

 

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