I've seen two pieces now on the decline of hunting and fishing in Alaska, the last of which, "Nostalgia doesn't trump statistics on the decline of hunting, fishing," a Sept. 8 letter from, of all places, the Humane Society in Washington, D.C.
Yes, we have some tree-hugging and wolf-loving fluffy types here, but the vast majority are the "rootin' tootin' moose shootin' " kind, albeit I wouldn't make book on what kind of "tootin' " goes on.
I suspect the "decline" is more closely associated with the lack of and cost of access in our vast state and to some extent complex regulations. The fluffy types don't want us to build roads so access is limited and expensive. Also, the proliferation of efficient guides who sell their services to well-heeled outsiders take a lot of fish and game and are protective of their areas, often aggressively so.
The outstanding Kenai River is overrun by aggressive fishing guides, many of whom aren't even residents here. The Kenai is being loved to death and should be for drift boats only. Our state officers don't seem to care and even increased the outboard power permitted. Most of us "rootin' tootin' " types who love our state and live here year-round didn't come here to fish or hunt combat style or see our assets auctioned off to the highest bidder from Outside.
Oh, and if you don't live here -- shut up! We don't care what you think.
---- William Ahrens