Recently the Daily News carried front-page articles regarding rampant killing of wolves and bears to boost moose populations for hunters in parts of Alaska. Also, the Board of Game approved wolverine trapping in Chugach State Park for the first time in 34 years, despite objections by the area state biologist who indicated there were fewer than 24 wolverines present. This is like opening a season on a locally endangered species.
The Game Board encouraged more pilots and gunners to kill many wolves in some areas with a $150 "incentive." Bounties were banned statewide in 1982 and have no place in prudent wildlife management. Regrettably, a possibility of using helicopters to slaughter wolves was threatened by Gov. Sarah Palin. She reflects the Alaska Outdoor Council, which champions the 18 percent of Alaskans who hunt or trap and has little regard for non-consumptive interests.
Many hunters and trappers repeatedly complain that nonhunters should have no say in game matters because they do not pay federal hunting and fishing excise taxes generated from the sale of guns and ammunition. However, they do not mention that a similar tax on backpacks and other outdoor equipment was proposed in Congress but ironically was killed mainly by the hunting lobby, which really does not want to share power with nonhunters in formulating wildlife policy and regulations.
---- Edgar Bailey, Retired Biologist / Homer