Constitution of Alaska states that wildlife is intended for
the "common use" of all Alaskans. When it comes to
the management of wildlife, hunters and non-hunters should be
working together as equals.
show that 83 percent of voters feel their interests would be
better served by a Board of Wildlife composed of hunters, trappers
and others engaged in wildlife viewing, wildlife photography
and wildlife tourism than they would be by a Board of Game composed
only of hunters and trappers. Seventy percent of hunters agree.
Recognizing the importance of diversity on boards as a basis
for making good decisions would appear to be a core value for
most Alaskans, even if it means giving up some representation
with respect to one's own interest group.
February, Sen. Johnny Ellis, a Democrat, introduced SB 343,
which would replace the existing hunter-trapper Board of Game
with a Board of Wildlife. At the same time Sen. Ralph Seekins,
a Republican, introduced SB 318, which would give special privileges
to hunters over non-hunters. Sen. Ellis' equality bill has not
been given a single public hearing while Sen. Seekins' bigotry
bill is advancing at warp speed through the Resources and Judiciary
committees. Why am I not surprised?
Paul Joslin, Wildlife Director / Alaska Wildlife Alliance /