Editorial needs straightening out

Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It is bad enough to read the VECO Voice of the Times’ jaded editorials in ADN, without seeing them again in the Peninsula Clarion (Nov. 6). I would like to set the record straight on a couple items in this Times editorial, which you printed.

In paragraph 2, less than 12 people in Alaska’s senate instigated the repeal of the 2000 public law, which prohibited indiscriminate aerial killing of wolves. This was done at the behest of Alaska’s (Murkowski’s) Board of Game (BOG) and the Alaska Outdoor Council (AOC), all of whom are avid killers for sport. As many as 80 percent of Alaskans and 70 percent of Alaska fair-chase hunters do not approve of these methods to artificially increase ungulate populations. It is sad so few a number of people in our Legislature can cause (coerce?) public laws to be repealed.

In paragraph 6, quote, “the state predator control programs are, indeed, based on ‘sound science.’” However, in paragraph 8, a different tone is taken, quote, ... “determinations ... need to be backed with ‘sound science,’ whatever that may be”(?) So, which is “sound science” and which is not?

In paragraph 7, the referenced court case was won (not lost) by the plaintiffs. Judge Gleason ruled, in fact, the BOG violated its own regulations and shut down its extreme predator control programs. As a result, the BOG called an emergency meeting, unilaterally amended its regulations, using the judge’s ruling as a guide, without the benefit of any public input (as required by law), and continued on its merry way.

Since that time, the BOG and the AOC have extended their predator control programs, to include the aerial killing of bears as well as wolves and will open the McNeil River and Pack Creek areas in 2007 to “trophy sport killing.”

These are world famous areas for human viewing of brown bear behavior up close, and hunting these people-habituated bears would be tantamount to hunting in a zoo. But there are people who don’t care where they get the heads for their walls and hides for their floors. I would hope the Peninsula Clarion would not support such “sound science.”

Richard Hahn


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