'Final Frontier' Days are Over; Wildlife is Valued for its Own Sake

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / March 8, 2004

Murkowski's hand-picked Board of Game is reviewing numerous proposals this week that will have devastating, long-term effects on wolf and bear populations. The board represents only the interests of hunters and trappers. Alaska is no longer the "final frontier" and many Alaskans, contrary to popular party line, value wildlife for its own sake. Ecotourism and wildlife viewing have become a vital part of Alaska's economy and will likely become more so as the state's finite resources run dry. These Alaska values and interests should be represented when considering such far-reaching proposals.

Hunting and wildlife preservation can coexist if managed with care, using "real" science. The Murkowski administration has successfully hobbled the state agencies previously in place to provide checks and balances for effective management of the state's precious resources. The Board of Game has been given the green light to destroy animal populations based on the interests of the few. Subsistence, we support. Merciless extermination, we do not.

This administration threatens the long-term viability of Alaska's ecosystems and economy. We must demand a more democratic decision-making process and bring balance back into wildlife and resource management practices in Alaska.

-- Kirsten Angell / Anchorage

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