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Help give Maggie the opportunity to live the rest of her life in the company of other elephants

Help the McNeil Bear Sanctuary off linmits to hunting

Stevens' ANWR Stand Shows Caribou aren't as Financially Important As Salmon

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / March 15, 2006

Did other people read the story on the front page of the Daily News on March 4 and shake their heads in disbelief? The same senator who is in favor of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, even though it could cause irreversible damage to the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd, is now worried about the effects that mining for gold and copper near Iliamna Lake could have on salmon ("Stevens pledges to stall Pebble").

As a person concerned for the environment and the natural beauty of Alaska more than profits from oil, I perhaps am a bit naive. I see both of the above scenarios as very similar, but Sen. Ted Stevens treats them totally different. I would think as a representative of Alaska, he'd be concerned for both the caribou and the salmon.

Oh, yes. That's right. The caribou aren't the cash crop that salmon are. I have a feeling that if it were Alaskans doing the mining instead of Canadians, he'd somehow try to convince the public that the mining would not affect the rivers or salmon population. Just like I'm sure he believes the 504 oil spills a year on Alaska's North Slope (Department of Environmental Conservation) don't hurt the caribou. If only the caribou gave Permanent Fund dividends, perhaps more people would care. Have all Alaskans been bought by the oil company?

---- Cliff Eisner / Anchorage

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