Thank you for a being a great newspaper and any articles about bears are always well received. As a bear enthusiast and photographer I am concerned about the following. The Board of Game will soon be voting on a very controversial subject, mainly opening bear hunting on Douglas Head, a peninsula southeast of the sanctuary and another area encompassing the Paint River watershed, north of the Sanctuary.
Alaska has plenty of places where bears can be hunted, it simply does not have to involve land surrounding the McNeil River Sanctuary. It’s betraying the trust of these resident bears that have for decades given viewing pleasure to humans, for photography, for study, for closeness to their raw beauty and wild power. The same bears trust humans not to inflect harm upon them, but in fall and spring, the same bears could be hunted down, shot and killed if they happen to migrate to these close-by areas. It will change bear behavior and the dynamics of McNeil River Sanctuary.
While we still have bears in our magnificent state, let’s work to protect them. The bear symbolizes Alaska’s wilderness and serves as indicators species, whose well-being serves as a measure of our ecosystem’s health.
Help protect the bears. Write to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, P.O. Box 115526, Juneau, AK 99811, fax (907) 465-6094 or submit comments to www.boards.adfg.state.ak.us.
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