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Seek balance with wildlife

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Monday, January 20, 2003

Related Story:

Gov. ponders wolf control

Between Stevens and Murkowski, Sunday's paper carried sad news for folks who care about Alaska's wild environment and the myriad creatures living there.

Stevens seems to be exhibiting true ashen colors by attempting to use mercenary camouflage for burying a fiscal-rider worded to take away a citizen's rights to future court appeals. Apparently, this non-participatory move that hopefully won't fly was motivated by ongoing beefs with a vital and burgeoning environmental community. It can be seen as further manifestation of antiquated 20th century thinking and tactics. However, rather than this old style of thinking, that solely benefits corporate interests, wouldn't it be much better with a new style of thinking totally out front that actually attempts to ask questions like: "What is truly best for, and crucial to, a sustainable and healthy use of our endangered natural systems in Alaska?" Sen. Stevens, please take note that your friendly and local environmentalist can help you with that question, if you ask.

Murkowski, it appears, is sharing some major moose-beef with the wolves and would like to become the alpha-male for predator control, to placate the sportsmen and commercial guides. He wants to keep politics out of the wolf question, but has stacked the game board with sympathetic players. So are we now to see a return of vermin-elimination and the infamous early days of the bounty hunter? A return of the days of airborne wolf control and the likes of machine-gun Kelly? Did he actually work for Ron Somerville, I wonder?

The poor old wolf, sure has taken a long-suffering beating, beginning with ancient mythology and then cattle and sheep herders and now the organized sportsmen of Alaska. The poor fellows don't seen to have the slimmest of chances these next four years. Our tourists can't help much, unless a New York wolf group can out-distance Bush with the media and his personal war.

Game board member McLeod-Everette, a hunting guide, says she is interested in two things, "sustainable yield and predator control."

I'm a hunter with respect for the ecosystem. Where there are too many hunters there is game shortage. Yield and predator control must include the increasing growth of human predator and their subsequent yield.

By reducing our numbers, on a demonstrated food-needs basis, it will allow the wolf to live out the life they are entitled to.

Alan R. Munro

Juneau



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