My Turn: Conservationists support Murkowski

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2002

For those who treasure the opportunity to hunt, fish, view and responsibly conserve Alaska's fish and wildlife, Frank Murkowski is the only choice for governor.

Frank has shown strong support for the values that once made Alaska an outdoor Mecca - state management, active management of fish and game, decision making founded on science, and support for public access.

Frank supported "right to hunt" legislation on federal lands. He's consistently earned "A" ratings from the NRA. He's questioned federal biologists who fraudulently tried to list endangered species. He put the Park Service in their place when they unlawfully tried to restrict public access. He approaches wildlife with an eye toward science, not politics.

This contrasts starkly with Fran Ulmer, who helped the administration preside over one of the worst periods on record regarding outdoor uses. A record of putting predators before people and politics before science.

The Knowles-Ulmer administration irrevocably ceded the state's management authority of navigable waters to the feds by dropping a critical lawsuit they promised to appeal. They called it "backtracking." Most people called it a lie.

The NRA gave them an "F-" rating in 1998.

Fran says she won't meddle in the Board of Game's decision making. Don't believe it. The Knowles-Ulmer Administration unilaterally blocked five wildlife management plans passed by the Board of Game. Wildlife populations, and the opportunity to utilize these resources for food, have greatly suffered because of it.

Increased public access stopped when the Knowles-Ulmer Administration directed DNR to discontinue all assertion (even volunteer) of state-owned right of ways.

And last, but certainly not least, is subsistence. Despite the administration's efforts, Alaska is farther from a solution today then we were eight years ago. Worse, the only two lawsuits that could have helped solve the issue (Babbitt and Katie John) were unilaterally dropped by the Knowles-Ulmer Administration. Politics overruled policy, leaving both rural and urban Alaskans highly polarized.

Don't be fooled into thinking it was the Legislature's fault. The fact is the Knowles-Ulmer administration never stepped off the third floor to work with legislators on a bipartisan solution.

Let's elect an honest, responsible, and common sense candidate. It's what Alaska deserves and what our fish and wildlife need. Vote for Frank Murkowski.

Carl Rosier of Juneau served as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game from 1991-94 and is a past president of the Alaska Outdoor Council.

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