To the editor:
Marty Caress' recent letter was typically long on venom and woefully short on facts. His first error of many was implying Mr. Greenwalt's reference to a letter from the American Society of Mammalogists against airborne killing of wolves and bears is a fabrication. Not only does he get the name of the group wrong (calling it "the Society of Mammalogists") he apparently overlooked their letter of opposition to the airborne killing sent to Gov. Murkowski in July 2005.
A new resolution passed this year and a second similar letter of opposition will be going to the governor from the society, to also appear on their Web site. He errs in arbitrarily attributing increased birthrates in the Healy area ungulates to the killing program. Even Fish and Game won't go that far.
It takes years of observation to determine what effects come from easy winters, changes in forage quality and quantity, and many other factors. Fish and Game biologist Don Young, at the Feb. 6 Middle Nenana Advisory meeting in Healy, noted concerns that long term there are already more moose than the habitat can support.
Caress' claim to thousands of miles of groundwork imputes a value that is misleading.
Recently, Fish and Game asked for increased funding for aerial surveys for predators, knowing that groundwork is hardly the most accurate or timely method of gathering information. Caress' "groundwork" is subject to his own interpretations and the spin he may put on his conclusions may depart widely from the facts. With 83 percent of Alaskans and 71 percent of Alaskan hunters disapproving of the airborne killing, Caress is in that AOC minority that has hijacked our wildlife management.
Even as Caress claims success, hunters and trappers from Eagle as well as the Kandik River, people who directly subsist on our wildlife, are protesting this killing plan of which he is so fond.
Caress has taken what should be a factual argument and, lacking the facts, has tried to turn it into one of character assassination.
I would suggest he put more of his energies into getting valid information and less toward throwing his brand of mud about.
Paddy Tatum / Rex Crossing