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Interesting ideology put forth by Mr. Smeltzer: Kill all the predators but man. Let diseases kill off our game, instead. I can only wonder at the ecological ignorance of some people. Wolves have never been vermin. I can only imagine that Mr. Smeltzer is from one of those truly ignorant states where there is no more wildlife. Nature balances things between predators and prey. The wolves may occasionally fell a healthy deer but for the most part it is the weak, ill and lame ones they feed on. Is Mr. Smeltzer willing to have a law passed that we must harvest only the weak and infirm? If we kill off the predators, we must be willing to take on their job. Man is the only predator that insists on the best quality of game. All others are opportunistic, eating our garbage and rejects.
Furthermore, the bears fill their spot in the balance of nature. If Mr. Smeltzer doesn't want to live with nature, which includes bears and other predators, I can think of plenty of other states that he can move to where there are no predators and very little prey to worry about.
I have lived in Juneau for over 40 years, bears and all, and have never known of anyone killed by a bear or wolf. I do, however, know of several dozen people here in town who have been killed by drunks and bad drivers. Shall we eliminate those as well? Alaska was founded on the ideal of living in harmony with nature, not destroying it. If you want to freak over the bear who wanders through your back yard twice a year, you don't belong here.
Rayda L. Renshaw