Legislature needs to repair Board of Game

It's time for the Legislature to repair the fence.

 

In its surreptitious attempt to privatize wildlife, has the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and its sidekick the Board of Game imploded? A once proud agency/board, built on noteworthy competence and diversity of opinion has become a narrow-minded organization that serves fraternal friends. An allocation system based on need (AS 16.05.258), now oozes with greed. Some highly prized hunting permits are going to the highest bidder, with more in the works. Forget the average guy. The ideals of our Constitution are more like deals.

Things are a mess if you believe in conservation principles, hunting ethics and fair opportunity, but at their best if you support hunting as a privilege that few can afford.

So who's to blame? Do you blame the fox if the farmer doesn't maintain the hen house fence? Our Constitution built the fence for managing wildlife resources, but who is supposed to maintain it? The Legislature!

But what have they done to keep us from sliding down this slippery slope? Nothing is the short answer. In fact they have added grease by routinely approving appointments to the Board of Game that defy the meaning of diverse, despite a statutory mandate, as well as a Commissioner who has about as much stature as a statue that pigeons roost on.

If vetting were more than just political setting, this wouldn't have happened.

It's time for the Legislature to take some responsibility for the mess they have allowed. They need to investigate where things went wrong and then confirm appointments that make things right. Now is not too late.

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