Calls for Somerville to resign are unfair

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Those who are calling for Ron Somerville's resignation from the Board of Game are being unreasonable and unfair. Although Somerville has had differences of opinion with Native leaders in the past over the issues of sovereignty and subsistence, Ron has been a champion of rural issues for the many years he has been in public service.

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Recent examples include his strong support for people in Nikolai, McGrath and Telida in their efforts to improve subsistence moose harvest through predator management, and trying to find a long-term solution to rural-urban conflict in Game Management Unit 13.

Somerville's attempt to lighten up the board meeting in Wrangell did not go down well, but the "racist" label does not fit. It is difficult to find competent, hardworking members for many of the state's advisory or regulatory boards, and they should not be dismissed for trivial or political reasons.

There are many examples of tasteless comments made by Native or non-Native game board members at past meetings. We need to accept the fact that good people occasionally choose their words poorly. Let's move on to more important issues.

Patrick Valkenburg


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