Thank you for the beautiful bear pictures and the informative article concerning the McNeil River sanctuary bears ("Grizzly displays: Sight of a lifetime," Aug. 13). The state Board of Game could be voting on a very controversial subject, mainly opening bear hunting in the neighboring refuge north of the sanctuary. Alaska has plenty of places where bears can be hunted; it simply does not have to involve land surrounding the McNeil River sanctuary.
It's betraying the trust of these resident bears that have for decades given viewing pleasure to humans for photography, for study, for closeness to their raw beauty and wild power. The same bears trust humans not to inflict harm upon them, but in fall and spring the same bears could be hunted down, shot and killed if they happen to migrate to these close-by areas. It will change bear behavior and the dynamics of McNeil River sanctuary.
While we still have bears in our magnificent state, let's work to protect them. The bear symbolizes Alaska's wilderness and serves as an indicator species whose well-being serves as a measure of our ecosystem's health. Help protect the bears and give your voice.
---- Sybille Castro / Kenai