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Game Board Does One Thing Well: It Gets all Kinds of Wildlife Killed

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / May 14, 2005

Alaska is winning its war on wildlife. The war against subsistence set the stage.

If every Alaskan is a "subsistence user" then every Texan is a cowboy. Nevertheless, every Alaskan has been constitutionally proclaimed an honorary "subsistence user."

This "subsistence" justifies gross game mismanagement -- like allowing hunters to drive right up to moose and shoot them.

The hunting industry -- guides, merchants, recreational business owners and vehicle dealers -- benefits from allowing moose to be killed in drive-by shootings.

Naturally, overhunting happens.

Overhunting without repentance leads to "intensive" predator control. This lets game managers blame wild predators for the missing moose -- and artificially prolongs the overhunting.

Current Game Board members once lobbied to take away the public's right to propose wildlife ballot initiatives -- and blocked a vote on rural subsistence. Now they just ignore the public. Shooting wolves from aircraft is labeled "scientific" -- presumably because wolves "kill for fun" and "abandon their kills."

Actually, the drive-by/fly-by "experts" who "observe" wolves failing to finish their dinners probably drove them off their kills in the first place. No wolf on a carcass is going to stick around for approaching snowmachines, four-wheelers, aircraft -- or even humans on foot. Wolves are, after all, "intensively" hunted.

The Game Board does do that one thing well -- get all kinds of wildlife killed. That's why Alaska is winning its war on wildlife -- not to mention its war on wilderness.

Rudy Wittshirk / Willow

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