Mike Murphy's letter on the initiative to end airborne wolf and bear killing was filled with errors ("Campaign to stop aerial hunts for wolves, bears reeks of ignorance," Nov. 8).
His complaint that the initiative (and its 56,000 signatures) is mainly representative of city folks is completely wrong. Nick Jans lived for years in the village of Ambler and has a considerable history of Bush life, as anyone familiar with his pieces in Alaska magazine would know. Murphy seems ignorant of changes in the initiative process requiring that a specified percentage of signatures must come from villages that voted in the most recent election. These petitions represent a wide array of Alaskans, from the urban dweller to the village resident. Many of the people for which Murphy has appointed himself spokesman signed these petitions.
Murphy also appears unaware that STEADY, a group of subsistence hunters and trappers from Eagle, is strongly opposed to airborne hunting, as is the Alaska chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, whose co-chair lives a subsistence life as a hunter/trapper on the Kandik River.
Early in 2006 the Board of Game heard at least six villagers testify that it wasn't the wolves they worried about depleting their moose and caribou, but the tide of urban hunters.
A majority of Alaskans are against airborne hunting, perhaps because the majority of Alaskans are far better informed than Murphy.
-- John Toppenberg, Director / Alaska Wildlife Alliance / Anchorage