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Ethics and the Board of Game

Posted: February 7, 2012 - 12:00am

As the Corey Rossi scandal unfolds, it now seems to be encompassing the Board of Game via present member, Cliff Judkins, and former member, Bob Bell. According to Craig Medred in the Alaska Dispatch, it seems they wanted the Fish & Game biologist for the area to bend the rules so they could bring home some horns from a musk ox subsistence hunt, something currently not permitted. Had it not been for the integrity of the biologist, it might have happened. It would have been yet another unethical notch in Rossi’s gun belt who has strong ties to the Alaska chapter of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife.

Putting aside the question of what is a successful businessman doing on a subsistence hunt competing with the local residents of Northwest Alaska for a limited resource (as Judkins did), we see how incestuous is the relationship between the guide-dominated Board of Game and trophy hunters in the fact Judkins has now submitted a proposal that would make legal exactly what he wanted to do. Apparently, if you serve on the board and feel personally inconvenienced by a rule, you just go ahead and change it.

More and more hunters and non-hunters in Alaska are becoming disgusted by the extremely narrow perspective of the Board of Game. It seems the guiding industry has their ear — and often their votes — even when it works against residents. Witness the allowance of non-residents to hunt where predator extermination programs are in place even though it means obvious competition against residents for a very limited game population.

Gov. Sean Parnell sanctions this imbalance, by the way. His latest two appointments to the board? Both hunting guides. The large majority of Alaskans, the tourist industry, the conservation community have no representatives and Parnell is quite happy with that to judge from his actions.

It used to be our BoG was an even-handed entity. But anymore it is a morass of a biased panel wrapped in a lack of ethics.

Art Greenwalt

Fairbanks

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