House Bill 256 threatens wildlife

Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Imagine Alaska's wildlife regulations being based on a hunch rather than biological findings. Now imagine those same regulations being exempt from legal challenge. House Bill 256, now being considered by state legislators, would "accomplish" these things.

One major reason for this bill is: The Board of Game does not like losing lawsuits. The board is under court review because it apparently didn't follow its own procedures the last time it implemented airborne predator control. A court also closed down Gov. Sarah Palin's airborne wolf bounty program last April.

A second reason for the bill is to make predator control more politically based. House Bill 256 removes the requirement that the board look to the best data available before giving the go-ahead to new aerial wolf-gunning areas.

Most of the Alaskans who hold a hunting license are ethical and fully utilize the meat and other resources provided by our wildlife. Small special interests, not average hunters, control the Alaska Outdoor Council and other organizations, who exhort pervasive influence over the Board of Game. If this seems unfair to the vast majority of Alaskans, you won't be happy that the bill will further disenfranchise the majority. Additionally, the bill specifically adds brown bear and wolverines to the airborne hit list.

You can support responsible, science-based wildlife management by opposing this regressive legislation. For details, please contact your local Legislative Information Office and your representative or senator.

John Toppenberg

Director, Alaska Wildlife Alliance

Soldotna



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