I recently had a remarkable experience, and one that makes me proud of my fellow Alaskans. I observed several days of public testimony and the deliberations of the Board Of Game on a large number of proposals affecting Southeast. The Board took extraordinary care to be sure they understood the implications of each proposal and carefully questioned each person testifying.
The Board struck me as having a strong interest in uniting the community when dealing with controversial issues, and the willingness to craft solutions that took all points of view into consideration. I thought their handling of the potentially divisive Douglas Island wolf issue showed the touch of Solomon. They managed to include both the interests of people who want the possibility of wolves on the island with deer hunters and wolf hunters and trappers. The Board's historical perspective (several members have been on previous Boards), and the fact that biologists are on the Board, gave their deliberations a depth that was impressive. This was state government at its best.
Thank you to Board Chairman Ben Grussendorf, and Board Members Julie Maier, Rob Hardy, Jack Lentfer, Joel Bennett, and Victor Van Ballenberghe for your expertise, sense of public service, and wisdom.
Gov.-elect Frank Murkowski would do us all a great service by re-appointing those members of the Board who want to continue to serve.