To judge from their recent decisions, we have an Alaska Outdoors Council-controlled Board of Game demonstrating a smug contempt and a Department of Fish and Game exhibiting an incredible arrogance for believing Alaskans want a program in which year after year wolves and eventually bears will be shot from the air or pursued by snowmachines until exhausted all in the name of intensive management, a concept so unworkable that when initially broached in the mid-1990s, F&G testified against it.
A PR campaign is being created to convince you these actions so reprehensible to most Alaskans they have twice voted against them now represent the best F&G can do in managing our wildlife.
This travesty is being nurtured by Ralph Seekins and the AOC through channels that bypass public participation and with a studied neglect of the equal ownership of our wildlife by all Alaskans as set forth in our state constitution. Alaskans have only one opportunity every two years to repudiate such actions through the initiative process. It shouldn't surprise you this same Legislature and the AOC have worked hard to make that process extinct.
You will soon be subjected to a slick and determined effort by the Murkowski administration to tell you that what you don't want, airborne killing of wolves and bears, is really what you do want. You will be told the same Department of F&G that has brought us cow moose seasons and the hunting of calves now knows completely what they are doing and can guarantee this is not going to have unforeseen and devastating consequences on a wildlife population that is probably the only left in America in a close-to-original condition.
Your money will be spent to convince you the scenes of widespread winter starvation, the epidemics requiring the slaughter of thousands of deer, the complete disappearance of healthy predator populations now common in the states will not happen here even as the BOG sets in place mechanisms with the potential to produce such results. The board has publicly stated their goal of total elimination of wolves in some areas, unable to learn from the errors of the other states.
Because of poor management and AOC-driven decisions the BOG now necessitates a taxpayer-funded campaign to make their actions palatable. Once again they have shown why they are best known as the Board of Shame.
Art Greenwalt / Fairbanks