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Bring the Wood Bison

Letters / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / June 16, 2005

To the editor:

There are a lot of ways to describe the "new" U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "Consistent" is certainly not one of them.

At the behest of urban environmentalists, the agency cheerfully spent millions of dollars of our tax monies to reintroduce wolves to the intermountain West. This boondoggle was accomplished over the protests of state wildlife agencies, hunters, pet owners, ranchers, farmers and private landowners in the areas actually impacted.

But when given a chance to support the reintroduction of wood bison to Interior Alaska, a project supported by all the interest groups and with a lot of private funding, the Fish and Wildlife Services goes out of its way to conjure up all manner of lame bureaucratic and political opposition. They even reject out of hand all the Athabascan oral history accounts of bison on the Yukon Flats!

It's pretty apparent that the real reason that they don't support the project is because it wasn't "their" idea.

Hopefully, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, interest groups, the tribes and the Alaska Legislature will not be influenced by the petty, political posturing of this arrogant federal agency. Let's all support this long-awaited and "eco-logical" reintroduction of wood bison.
Pete Buist / Fairbanks

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