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Murkowski Wildlife Management not about Wildlife or Management

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / February 1, 2006

What a surprise that the Murkowski regime's aerial wolf control plan was found to be invalid and was not based on sound scientific principles ("Ruling brakes wolf-kill program," Jan. 18).

The state-sanctioned killing of wolves to raise moose and caribou populations is a simplistic plan that ignores the complex and dynamic relationships among predators, prey and their habitat.

By conducting an overly aggressive and invalid predator control plan that didn't even follow state regulations, the Murkowski regime and its Board of Game has lost all credibility in managing bears and wolves.

What's needed is a regime change in Juneau and a Board of Wildlife that represents a diversity of Alaskans, not just a single interest group.

This Board of Wildlife could have trappers/hunters, scientists, Natives, tourism representatives, professional photographers and others appointed to it. Its decisions would be scientifically based and, if warranted in a biological emergency, a targeted predator-control plan could be established and conducted by Fish and Game.

This type of representative management of wildlife will not occur under the current state government. Ignoring and having contempt for the public will and involvement in this issue and many others (extension of Stampede Road, Juneau road to Skagway, Ketchikan's Bridge to Nowhere, etc.) is the mantra of Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Wildlife belongs to all of us; it is our responsibility to ensure that it is managed scientifically, not politically.

Bill Watkins / Denali Park AK

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