I would urge the Alaska Board of Game to reconsider its decision to open the Kamishak Special Use area to brown/grizzly bear hunting. This area lies between the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary and the state refuge and Katmai National Park. Protections for both areas would be subverted if Kamishak were opened. The hunt is essentially targeting bears from both locations.
McNeil is an Alaska crown jewel, rare and spectacular to behold, easily lost if tampered with, especially with an already declining brown/grizzly bear population.
I take issue with the claim from Rod Arno (Alaska Outdoor Council) that these bears become "leery" once they cross the sanctuary and refuge boundaries. Since when does any species of wildlife recognize human boundaries? What scientific and factual evidence does he have to demonstrate this claim?
Lastly, I would ask the board to resist the political influence of the Alaska Outdoor Council, which would open lands to bear hunting that have been closed for the past 20 years. Doing so would subvert the protections of both the state and federal government, target habituated bears which do not recognize human boundaries, and cast a black cloud of negative publicity over all hunters.
Any decision to open these lands to target the McNeil/Katmai bears would fly in the face of the majority of Alaska citizens who desire these bears be protected and where wildlife belongs to all, not just the elitist few.
---- Bill Watkins / Anchorage