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Game management sold out to 'extremists'

Posted: Thursday, October 07, 2010

Have you noticed how anymore our wildlife management consists of reacting to one Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Board of Game-determined emergency after another? We've had eight years of their intensive management, killing wolves and bears by any means possible, whenever and wherever. By now, according to the minds of Commissioner Denby Lloyd, deputy Commissioner Pat Valkenburg and Director of Wildlife Conservation Corey Rossi, we should be knee-deep in moose and caribou.

But we aren't. Why?

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, then then-Gov. Sarah Palin and now Gov. Sean Parnell sold us out to the extremists of the Alaska Outdoors Council and the Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. The Board of Game doesn't exist any longer to serve a broad range of Alaskans but only the narrow and, in the end, destructive biases of these trophy hunter groups. Parnell had the chance to turn things around but he has only turned his back on the average Alaskan, bowing again and again to these special interests.

Don't go to the Board of Game for help. As they showed with the Denali Buffer Zone vote, they serve the narrowest of views. It is very likely soon they will vote to allow trapping of bears, sows and cubs, not because a broad range of Alaskans want it but because the AOC and the SFW want it. The trophy-hunting industry wants it. Valkenburg wants it. They're all one and the same in this respect. What Alaskans want, though, means little or nothing.

Earlier this year only four BOG members (one to be later denied a seat, but too late) ignored local residents, a 500-signature petition, and the request of the Denali Park superintendent for the buffer zone. These four people, holding the fate of all of Alaska's wildlife in their hands, said, "Kill more wolves."

And Parnell, seeing this, smiled and said it was good, leaving the BOG to move on to their next "emergency."

Art Greenwalt

Fairbanks

Vice-president of the Alaska Wildlife Alliance



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