The United Nations has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. But Gov. Sean Parnell still can't get it right. His appointments to the Board of Game looks as though it is his personal "Year of No Diversity."
With his latest appointment, Parnell has again proven his allegiance to the Alaska Outdoor Council and the Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife - two organizations devoted to the trophy hunting industry.
He has turned his back on Southcentral, where almost a third of Alaskan's reside, leaving them without any representation. Southeast Alaska has only one seat on the Board. He ignores the tourism industry (with revenues to the state roughly four times greater than the hunting industry's revenues), the conservation community and the almost 90 percent of Alaskans who neither hunt or trap.
Parnell had excellent choices from throughout the state, both in terms of background and residence with at least two nominations from the Southeastern area. He chose to ignore them for yet another Interior resident with connections to the guiding industry. Nathan Turner, from what I have seen so far, seems a decent enough fellow. Yet, while our state constitution states that all Alaskans have equal ownership of our wildlife, to a resident the Board of Game almost represents only the consumptive segment and mainly the trophy hunters, at that.
Parnell has shown the large majority of Alaskans they don't warrant his consideration (though as he begins to campaign for re-election I am sure he will be very earnest and heartfelt in stating how he strives to represent every Alaskan.) He dances to the AOC/SFW tune and is therefore sure of the trophy hunter vote.
Parnell just doesn't get it. Perhaps come November there is something else he shouldn't get.
Alaska Wildlife Alliance