Alaskans want bear baiting ban

Posted: Friday, October 29, 2004

Blatant untruths are standard ammunition for those who oppose Ballot Measure 3, which would ban bear baiting in Alaska. Typical falsehoods are contained in a letter published in the state voters pamphlet.

It says the measure would "severely limit" the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's ability to manage game populations, and would prevent the department from capturing problem bears and relocating them away from town. But if that's true, it's odd that Fish and Game Commissioner Kevin Duffy doesn't agree. He wrote in an Oct. 8 letter to Alaska Wildlife Director John Toppenberg that a search of Fish and Game's paper and electronic documents found absolutely no such fears expressed by the agency's staff in "any memoranda, written opinions or any other documents associated with Ballot Measure 3."

The opponents' letter also claims the initiative is sponsored "out-of-state extremists like Greenpeace and P.E.T.A." and is funded by "numerous anti-hunting, anti-fishing and envronmental obstructinist groups."

In fact, the measure is a grass-roots effort consisting 100 percent of Alaskans who realize bear baiting is a repugnant, unsportsmanlike practice that habituates bears to human food sources and actually causes wildlife management problems. Those opposing Ballot Measure 3 are funded by Outside organizations such as Safari Club International. There are many good reasons why only a small minority of states still allow bear baiting. Don't fall for the lies on Nov. 2. Vote for common sense by supporting Ballot Measure 3.

Steve Kadel , Chugiak

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