I am deeply concerned that the Board of Game will be considering proposals to open brown bear hunting on state land between McNeil River State Game Sanctuary and Katmai National Park on the Alaska Peninsula. This area has been closed to brown bear hunting for 25 years and is an important mating and foraging area for a significant population of brown bears. A recent Alaska Department of Fish and Game study has shown that bears travel from this state land to Katmai National Park and McNeil River Sanctuary, supplying the area with bears for hunting and viewing. Katmai provides excellent hunting opportunities and has experienced a doubling of bear harvests in the past 10 years. Alaskans are fortunate to be blessed with a resource that provides well for both tourism and hunting opportunities. Opening this section of state land in Kamishak Bay would certainly jeopardize that balance and the significant economic resources it supplies.
I encourage Alaskans to get involved in protecting these important resources and sources of revenue. Ask the Board of Game to reject proposals 137 and 129 and maintain brown bear hunting closures on the Alaska Peninsula. Comments should be sent to the Board of Game by Feb. 18.
Michelle Sebern / Girdwood