USA Today eagle listing ignores Haines

Posted: Sunday, December 16, 2001

The Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, home to the largest concentration of bald eagles in North America, was left out of a recent listing of 10 great places to keep an eye on bald eagles published in the Nov. 30 edition of USA Today.

The nation's largest daily circulation newspaper lists 10 wildlife refuges as the best places in America to view eagles. The author of the article, Olivia Barker, got the list from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Cindy Hoffman.

Local eagle boosters panned the coverage.

American Bald Eagle Foundation founder Dave Olerud, who faxed the article around town Dec. 4, was resigned at the apparent omission of Haines from the list. "That's the way the world goes around - I've learned that what is written isn't necessarily the truth."

Park ranger Bill Zack said the article likely is a promotional tool for the Fish and Wildlife Service. Each of the 10 best eagle-viewing locations are inside national wildlife refuges, which are administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service.

"They're just doing a little thing for themselves. It just jumped out at me when I saw the list and saw who wrote it. Gee, what a coincidence," Zack said.

The only Alaska location on the list is the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Soldotna.

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