Comments on aerial wolf hunting

Posted: Thursday, April 13, 2006

Recently, a couple of letters to the editor appeared in the Juneau Empire editorial section condemning Priscilla Feral of Friends of Animals regarding her facts and stance on aerial wolf hunting. In these letters, it is suggested that the majority of Alaskans don't agree aerial hunting is wrong, that the visitors to Alaska don't care about wolf control programs, that Ms. Feral should focus on issues in her own state rather than on issues in Alaska and that the Alaska Constitution mandates using natural resources for the maximum benefit of the state. Where to start?

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First, Alaskans - that's the residents - have voted twice in the last 10 years to eliminate or severely restrict aerial wolf hunting. In both instances, the will of Alaskans was overturned by the state Legislature and not by the Board of Game.

Second, more than 600,000 visitors a year travel to Denali National Park. They don't travel eight hours within the park on a bus because they like gravel roads. The bus stops often to see wildlife. They are there to see wildlife, including wolves, which they get extremely excited when they do see them.

Third, can anyone seriously think that someone from Connecticut shouldn't have an opinion about what happens in Alaska? Come on. State borders are arbitrary lines on a map. Does that mean that someone from Juneau shouldn't have an opinion on what happens in the Interior because it is outside the border of the Juneau borough? Using state borders to demarcate areas of valid opinion is just as arbitrary as not using borough borders to do the same. Why not stipulate the North American border as the valid one. Honestly, I've never seen the Statue of Liberty or the Grand Canyon, but I sure would have an opinion if the residents of New York wanted to take down the Statue of Liberty and use it for scrap or if the residents of Arizona wanted to spray paint the Grand Canyon florescent orange. Wouldn't you? People in Connecticut, or anywhere, have as much of a valid opinion to comment on aerial wolf hunting as anyone here does.

Finally, where in the state constitution does it say that killing wolves maximizes the benefit of wolves to the State of Alaska? How was it figured, by what calculation was it determined, that killing wolves maximizes value? I've never seen it. Have you?

Mike Koy


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