A Board of Wildlife Would Offer Solutions Board of Game Never Can


Letter to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / March 27, 2004


Hunters have a right to hunt. The objection by many people is to gearing wildlife management to achieve the goals of hunters above all others. Alaska's wildlife is too valuable to be set aside for one exclusive user group. Many Alaska hunters feel that the current Board of Game does not represent their views.

While this flurry of debate about wolf control is occurring, the majority of Alaskans -- non-hunters and wildlife viewers -- are watching from the sidelines, unable to influence the Board of Game.

These people have the right to know that the wildlife they love and respect is being managed in a manner that preserves and protects the integrity of the ecosystem. They have a right to equal access to wildlife regions without fear of injury or intimidation. They have the right to express their beliefs without being ridiculed and demeaned for being overly sentimental or emotional. Above all, they have a right to have their voices heard. The wildlife of Alaska belongs to them as much as anyone. Their right to play a role in the decision making process regarding the state's treatment of wildlife must be honored.

Until a level playing field is established that respects all values, there will continue to be wildlife wars. A Board of Wildlife can bring peace and fairness to the wildlife management process of Alaska.



-- Maury Mason, Executive Director / Alaska Wildlife Alliance / Anchorage



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