Ellis Introduces Bill to Bring Balance to Game Board


Senator Johnny Ellis / Democrat-Anchorage / February 17, 2004


JUNEAU - Senator Johnny Ellis (D-Anchorage) today responded to the out of touch and extreme policies of the current Board of Game by filing legislation to change the Board of Game, in both name and composition. Senate Bill 343 changes the name from the Board of Game to the Board of Wildlife and expands membership from seven to nine.  Through SB343, the Board of Wildlife must "directly reflect all of the citizens' various uses of game for sport and subsistence hunting, trapping, non-consumptive uses, tourism, and scientific study."

"As evidenced by the voters in not one, but two statewide votes, Alaskan are not supportive of extreme policies to manage wildlife in Alaska," said Ellis. "This bill changes the membership to more closely reflect the views of all Alaskans and will bring diversity and balance to the process of wildlife management in Alaska.

"When a majority of Alaskans come to the polls to oppose land and shoot wolf hunting," Ellis continued, "the legislature should respect the will of the people, not come to Juneau and rewrite the law. With the recent changes to state law, the Board of Game has been given the go ahead with policies that are opposed by voters in Alaska. The mounting tourism boycott stands to affect small businesses statewide."

A Board of Wildlife structure has been adopted in other states. In Nevada, the Board of Wildlife is a nine member board with representation from the ranching community, farming community, wildlife conservation community, the general public, and five members who during the last three of four years immediately preceding their appointment held a resident license to fish or hunt, or both, in Nevada. In Massachusetts the Board of Wildlife is comprised of seven members, five who represent a geographic region of the state, one who is a trained wildlife biologist, one who has experience in non-game/endangered species, and one who represents agricultural interests.

Senate Bill 343 has been referred to the Resources and Finance Committees.

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Senator Johnny Ellis, D-Anchorage
Senate Minority Leader

January to May:
State Capitol
Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 465-3704
(907) 465-2529 fax
Senator_Johnny_Ellis@Legis.state.ak.us
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