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Moose, Tree 'Farms' Would Let Alaskans Manage Some Lifestyles

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / February 7, 2006

I moved to Alaska 23 years ago to pursue the Alaska lifestyle. Soon I was homesteading a tract near Skwentna, living the lifestyle I had dreamed about. Like many Bush Alaskans, I worked a number of occupations. Lodge caretaker, fishing guide, carpenter, nonpermanent jobs with state Department of Fish and Game, and later as a seasonal forest firefighter. I always used to get my legal moose meat out there.

In 1989 I moved to town, and only occasionally visit the homestead. In the 1980s, there were lots of moose near Skwentna and few wolves. I'd see dozens of moose between my cabin and Skwentna. Now, you're lucky to see any moose, but there are lots of wolves. The habitat hasn't changed. Between full-time wolf and seasonal bear predation, very few moose calves survive.

Most of Alaska is preserved as parks, national forests, refuges and other reserves. That's a done deal. However, in those few areas where wolf control and forest management are even allowed, places away from highways and populated areas, I say great. Bring on the "moose farm" and the "tree farm." I'm in favor of more of the traditional Alaska lifestyle I first moved here to live.

---- Glen Holt / Big Lake

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