Predator issue vs. rural Alaskans

Posted: Thursday, March 09, 2000

The governor's advisers to the predator issue in this state have left out one important element: rural Alaskans and the impact such action and policies will and are having in rural areas. The governor is taking a primary food source out of the mouth of every child. Not only is he taking food off the table in countless households, he also is failing to recognize the health and safety of rural residents.

His proposal to have yet another working group deserves no more than a passing glance. What has he done in implementing any recommendations from a Blue Ribbon Panel or the Self Governance Task Force? What outcomes can he point to that he has implemented as a result of such time-consuming efforts?

His new ``era of wildlife management'' leaves one important element out - subsistence. The governor's position statement under his second priority recently released says, ``For reasons we all understand, basic subsistence needs must come next.''

This is the same governor who stated in his State of the State Address on Jan. 12 that, ``The rural subsistence priority is morally right, historically smart and benefits every Alaskan.''

What has changed since January? I'll tell you what has - he now says it has to come after the first priority - tourism.

What about protection of the big game resource ensuring rural Alaska's future?

David Warden

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