Truth and Wolves

Letters to the Editor / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / March 20, 2004

To the Editor,

How easily and quickly the News-Miner tosses journalistic integrity to the wind to support the most brutal anti-wolf actions of the Board of Game. The recent editorial and Tim Mowry's latest article are wonderful examples of whitewashing the truth. Combine their efforts with the statement by board member Sharon McLeod-Everette that the public has testified for a need for aerial hunting and you might think this is the popular view.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Through ballot measures in 1996 and 2000 Alaska voters by a wide margin voted down aerial predator control. It was a clear message to the BOG that the average Alaskan found this an abhorrent practice.

A recent poll by the Dittman Research Corp. shows 72 percent of Alaskans oppose aerial hunting. Every major region of the state, including rural areas and a majority of hunters, disapprove of it. The facts are overwhelming: Alaskans don't want mechanized predator control.

So why, in the face of this disapproval by almost three-fourths of the population, does the News-Miner and the BOG choose to ignore these facts and try to present their actions as the popular view?

Well, I hate to disagree with such an unbiased source as Tim Mowry, but frankly these folks have an agenda so fanatically anti-wolf that all it takes to open entire game management units to mechanized predator slaughter is a little anecdotal evidence given at BOG meetings. While such evidence has zero scientific value, it's all the excuse the BOG needs.

What we then have is very biased testimony given to a highly prejudiced board (all Alaska Outdoor Council; not a single representative of the great majority of Alaskans who are non-consumptive) supported by a newspaper that willfully omits relevant facts to falsely present these actions as popular.

In the end these behaviors make the News-Miner's reporting a farce, the BOG's extremism a travesty, and the whole affair a tragedy perpetrated on Alaskans and our wildlife. In their war on wolves the anti-wolf forces, to paraphrase a saying, have made truth the first victim.

With concern,

Art Greenwalt  / Fairbanks --

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