Alaska wolves are state property

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Sunday, April 02, 2006

I'd like to say I'm sorry Friends of Animal's Priscilla Feral finds Alaska's wolf-control programs to be a "national disgrace," but I'm not. In fact, I don't care much what she thinks about anything, which is simply responding in kind to her attitude toward Alaskans like myself who gather much of our food directly from the land and sea.

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Her arrogance at assuming to speak for the "world community" in attempting to dictate ethical standards to people she disdains would be laughable if it wasn't irrelevant. For purposes of management, outside of National Parks wolves do belong to the state. Except for the obvious fundraising advantages to her organization from the emotional "Alaska" aspect of this, I would think their time would be better spent opposing things like the annual Canadian practice of clubbing 325,000 seal pups for their skins, or the outrageous Asian marketing of near-extinct animal parts.

I think people like Feral resent Alaskans just for living here. They have no inclination at all to try to understand that people living in remote areas (that's Alaska remote, not rural by U.S. standards) not only don't have access to supermarkets but likely don't have the income to buy food the way one would down south. A moose harvested every few years makes a huge difference in these people's lives. Those of us closer to "civilization" have needs less critical but still important, and she could care less.

Alaska's predator-control programs are controversial as we all know. Whatever you may think of them it should at least be admitted they represent an attempt to be consistent with the state constitutional mandate that the natural resources of the state be managed for the maximum benefit of the residents of the state. Notwithstanding the attempt of extorting a change in policy by boycotting Alaska tourism, more moose and caribou in areas where Alaska Department of Fish and Game say they are depleted due to wolf predation is an appropriate goal. How that is accomplished, despite what Feral may approve of, is for professional game managers to determine.

Rick Kaufman

Juneau



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