I suspect some folks in Juneau were surprised by the headline on Christmas Eve that Gov. Frank Murkowski wants the Dredge Lake beaver family relocated, rather than killed. But I wasn't. This may be a small, almost unremarkable thing to do in the grand scheme of things, but it shows a side of Frank Murkowski that more people ought to know about.
When I would express my support for him during the campaign for governor, I often observed his detractors, and others who simply didn't know him, suggesting he would pave Alaska and didn't care about our great wilderness, wild animals, and sheer beauty of this wondrous place we are lucky enough to call home. For some unknown reason, many people thought or believed he had no environmental sensitivity. This simply couldn't be further from the truth.
Well, I have known Frank Murkowski since I was a child and I can attest to the fact that he grew up in Southeast Alaska fishing and hunting, and has held a genuine and sincere reverence for nature for as long as I have known him. As a fourth-generation Alaskan and a lifelong hunter and fisherman, I too am very proud of and protective of our "Great Land" and appreciate the governor's sensitivity and appreciation for Alaska's wilderness and all the critters in it.
Are the beavers at Dredge Lake really causing that much havoc? I don't think so. Did Gov. Murkowski do the right thing by standing up to the U.S. Forest Service in defense of these "little loggers?" Absolutely!