We're Not an Animal Rights Group

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Press / April 24, 2004

I liked Amanda Coyne's article ("Hunting the hunters," April 15-21) about wolf hunting. However, she describes the Alaska Wildlife Alliance as being an animal rights organization. Some of us do feel that if animals had some kind of legal standing, they would not be considered expendable commodities at the whim of whoever has the ability and willingness to destroy them. Nevertheless, as a group, we are a wildlife environmental advocacy organization.

None of our literature is animal rights, anti-hunting or even non-hunting. Our wildlife values are the same as those of the majority of Alaskans. We take an ecosystem approach to wildlife management and challenge any action that threatens to upset the ecological balance. Our staff and board consist primarily of wildlife biologists.  We take a scientific stance when developing our policies and do not put the welfare of wolves or bears above moose, caribou or elk.  

While some organizations and journalists feel they can get away with calling us animal rights and anti hunting in an attempt to marginalize us, the fact remains that we are neither. Our credibility and reputation rests on our use of science as the basis for our work. This letter is part of our ongoing attempt to set the record straight.

Maury Mason, Executive Director / Alaska Wildlife Alliance

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