With respect to Jenny Pursell's well-written My Turn of June 27, I'd like to add a counterpoint or two.
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Firstly, I'd appeal to anyone citing "recent polls" to make a point to provide some specifics about who did the polling, when and where they did it and what questions were actually asked and of whom. We are besieged daily with opinion polls of little value other than to fill up space in the news cycle, with questions such as, "Do you think the country's headed in the right direction?" The answer one person gives may be yes or no but for entirely opposing reasons to the next person, rendering the whole thing meaningless. While not familiar with the polls Ms. Pursell cited, I know they didn't ask me.
Secondly, Alaska is so large it doesn't lend itself well to statewide game regulation, especially when mandated by referendum. Our state is divided into 26 different game management units to more effectively address the overall health of game populations and regulate the human impacts on them. Some of these are divided into sub-units to further refine the process. One of the areas effected by predator control programs is Unit 19A, in western Alaska on either side of the Kuskokwim River. The nearest point of this area to Anchorage is about 200 miles away, and needless to say, there is no road connection. The residents living there are strongly in favor of the program. Is it fair to them to force a different view based on the sensibilities of city dwellers in Anchorage or Juneau, let alone down south? I don't think so.
Lastly, the makeup of the Board of Game is subject to change, and Ms. Pursell is correct to work to change it if she feels the need. I can't speak to the charge of "extreme viewpoints" on the board, but I will say there are some that fit that description on the other end of the spectrum. Wolves are animals much like any other. They will roam and feed and breed to the extent their habitat allows, just like their prey. The insistence of some to eulogize them as emblems of wilderness is, just as off base as those who want them killed off.
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