The Feb. 12 article on the Board of Game's decision to allow hunting near McNeil River State Game Sanctuary proves that board members lack common sense and that their positions on the board should be questioned ("McNeil bear hunt opposition grows").
The argument between former sanctuary manager Larry Aumiller and the board hinges on the issue of sportsmanlike hunting, or the lack thereof, in allowing hunters to encroach on bear habitat that has not been open to hunting. Common sense tells us that the main concern should be human lives, which will certainly be put in jeopardy when bears learn that they are no longer safe living among humans. Does the board think that bears will somehow intuit an invisible line across the tundra where it is safe for them to hunt salmon and where humans can't hurt them? The reality is that bears will quickly learn that humans represent guns. It's not a stretch to surmise that eventually there will be a bear-and-human conflict, and it will most certainly be an unwitting tourist at McNeil Falls who reasonably expects the bears to be habituated to human company.
This board consistently pushes the envelope of logical decision-making when hunting is involved.
---- Heather Whitney / Homer