Board of Game Represents Anti-Predator Mind-Set
Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / May 10, 2004
agree with Mike Ross ("Leave
wildlife management to the experts, away from voters," May
5) that wildlife management should be left to experts;
nonetheless, techniques used to manage wildlife must be
acceptable to Alaskans. Wildlife management has been politicized
shamelessly by our Legislature and governor. Funding to
collect crucial data on wildlife has been slashed.
Gov. Frank Murkowski appointed a Board of Game that represents a single anti-predator
mind-set and exhibits ignorance of and little concern for population ecology
of wildlife. Examples: BOG renewed a wolf control plan in 20A -- an area with
reduced predator populations and a moose population damaging its habitat. Hence,
Fish and Game had to request implementation of calf hunts. BOG passed a bear
management plan that allows the board, rather than experts, to decide when bear
predation is significant. When the regional coordinator for Southcentral Fish
and Game told BOG that Fish and Game had no data to support the notion of predator
control in 16B, BOG ignored him.
Wolf control is scheduled to begin there next winter. Thanks to Gov. Murkowski's
BOG, experts are not allowed to manage Alaska's wildlife.
Right-wing hunters are thrilled to have this single-issue BOG. They believe reduced
predation will result in a plethora of game. They aren't concerned with the fact
that nature wasn't designed to be a game farm; hence, habitats and long-term
sustainability may be irreparably damaged. Statewide initiatives may be all that's
left for those who care about the health of Alaska's wildlife.
-- Julie Maier,
Ph.D. / UAF Wildlife Biologist / Fairbanks
to Current Events 0504]
Song of Alaska, P.O. Box 671670, Chugiak, Alaska 99567-1670
Wolf Song of Alaska.
The Wolf Song of Alaska
Logo, and Web Site Text is copyrighted, registered,
protected, and cannot be used without permission.
Web design and artwork donated by She-Wolf Works and Alaskan artist Maria Talasz
All rights reserved