All Alaskans, Not Just Hunters, Have a Say in Wildlife Decisions

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / July 18, 2003


It's good Craig Medred doesn't like bear-baiting. Many Alaskans don't. Many active Alaska hunters don't. Apparently, "active" is a criterion in Mr. Medred's view, for he is careful to not quite say anything directly derogatory about ex-hunters' participation in this issue but leaves enough of an implication that the reader gets his drift: This should be decided by hunters.

Well, you're wrong, Craig.

By our state Constitution neither bow hunters nor the Alaska Outdoor Council has priority over the rest of Alaskans when it comes to wildlife. The AOC apparently thinks otherwise, but from the ardent environmentalist to the feverish AOC game-blaster, each Alaskan has equal input concerning our wildlife.

It's that simple.

If the majority decide they don't want grizzly bears (who don't know bait stations are solely for black bears) learning that the wonderful smells of human-associated food wastes mean paradise, they have every right to vote a ban on bear-baiting. Today's bait station-raiding grizzly or black bear sow with cubs could be tomorrow's campsite raider. And if it's your campsite, Craig, will you still feel this is a "traditional hunting method" (per Don Young's bombastic, meaningless proclamation) to be preserved as it munches down on those familiar-smelling foods ... and maybe you?

-- Art Greenwalt / Fairbanks

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