Bill Sherwonit's March 20 column ("Wolverines and Alaskans both lose") had an interesting view of my service on the Board of Game. He has a different perspective than I on wildlife management. He articulated his view very well. The only problem is when he turned it into a personal attack on me.
I disagree with Mr. Sherwonit, but I won't resort to attacking his character or motives. Alaska has a long history of recreational hunting. It is an important part of our culture. The federal tax on hunting and fishing equipment pays for a large portion of wildlife management in America, including 50 percent of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game budget. Most of the rest is paid for by hunting and fishing licenses and nonresident trophy game tags. Mr. Sherwonit may be opposed to trophy hunting, but it pays the bills for game management. It is also a big part of our tourist revenue.
In regard to wolverine trapping in Chugach Park, if Mr. Sherwonit would have attended the meeting he might have been better informed. Trappers testified that while trapping for lynx, coyote and fox in the park they rarely caught a wolverine, which then had to go to the state. They simply asked us to open the season so they could keep the animal. That made sense to me and a majority of the board.
-- Bob Bell / Member / Alaska Board of Game