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Wolves and Science


Letters / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / January 27, 2006


To the editor:

It's no surprise the Seekins/Alaska Outdoor Council wolf killing program, already unpopular with most Alaskans, was recently judged to be illegal. Implemented by Seekins in circumvention of the voters' will, supported by the most-despised governor in Alaska's state history, also supported by his politically appointed Fish and Game commissioner, it has already seen two convictions for illegal hunting, and an indiscriminate application by a Board of Game whose members are all AOC and most of whom are in the business of killing wildlife. It's interesting that the Department of Fish and Game as administered by McKie Campbell never noticed the illegality of the program in view of the game board's own regulations (which they had created then consistently failed to follow).

Despite attempts by such AOC notables as Rod Arno and Dick Bishop to trivialize the judge's decision as being based on "technicalities," the fact is essential scientific data were sorely absent as were required justifications and other findings all of which demonstrate how little science was involved in these decisions.

Then, there is the News-Miner always ready to parrot the AOC line about "sound science" without question. Pandering to the AOC, it has consistently chosen an editorial bias over sound journalism, putting aside any integrity that should have prevailed.

So what does it all boil down to? An illegal program that has operated more along the lines of a vendetta, a program opposed (according to the latest polls) not only by a majority of Alaskans but even a majority of Alaska hunters. A program that Ralph Seekins, despite obvious public disapproval, is going to do his best to force on us again as he pursues his obsession with the decimation of our wolf population. Through the political process, through the Board of Shame, we have seen the AOC hijack our state wildlife management efforts with intensive management and now with aerial hunting.

Ben Franklin once responded to a blowhard in a way which, paraphrased, addresses the claims of Mssrs. Murkowski, Campbell, Bishop, Arno and the News-Miner: The science to which they allude is sound; nothing but sound.

Art Greenwalt / Fairbanks

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