Letters / Anchorage Daily News / April 23, 2005
I'm writing in response to the recent incidents that have occurred on public lands between recreational users, their dogs and trapping. I became familiar with this issue last year when a dog was killed in the Chugach National Forest in a Conibear trap near the Russian Lakes trail head. I couldn't believe that a trap could be legally set within a few yards of a trail head, creating conflict and public safety concerns. I then researched, networked with other users and found out that this problem has affected more people than I ever imagined
A group of us then submitted a fair proposal to the Board of Game, not banning trapping outright but simply banning instant-killing traps or Conibear traps from within 50 yards of public-use facilities and trail heads. The proposal was denied because the Game Board claimed that it doesn't deal with public safety issues. Whose responsibility is it then? That is the question that a few of us want answered, and we also want action to be taken to protect users and their families while enjoying Alaska's public lands. As population and the use of our trails grow, land managers need to do what's right and take precautionary measures to protect all users.
Bobbie Jo Skibo / Bird Creek
Editor's note: The writer works for a local environmental organization.
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