Animals that are Alaska's Biggest Selling Point are Being Eradicated

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / February 13, 2004

While most Alaskans turn their heads and shrug their shoulders, the animals that set our state apart from those of the Lower 48 are being eradicated under our noses. By now, it should be apparent that bears, as well as wolves, are important to this state's economy. Without an abundance of these magnificent species, many tourists may otherwise go elsewhere. On nearly every postcard and in nearly every ad, one can find that bears, as well as wolves, are the biggest selling point that Alaska has.

Thus, I find it highly ironic that Sen. Ralph Seekins is living a century behind his time. Predator control without clear scientific basis is illogical and unethical, period. To destroy predators for hunting the very animals they have evolved to kill is ignorant and unintelligent, especially without scientifically proven reason. Furthermore, grizzly/brown bears have an extremely low birthrate. To practically decimate a population would be very dangerous and foolish. If their mortality rate becomes higher than their birthrate, which is not a concern without merit, a bigger problem than a lower yearly moose harvest may transpire.

Lack of attention by the residents of Alaska is no excuse for the abolition of Alaska's heritage and wealth.

-- Justin R. Gibson / Anchorage

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