Ron Arno, Alaska Outdoor Council, recently criticized those who oppose extreme predator control targeting wolves and bears ("Emotional drumbeat is no basis for setting policy on predators," Sept. 6). He accused them of having "no knowledge of the subject. Emotions rule the day."
The AOC represents sport hunters and trappers and those who provide services to them. Arno implies only they have the truth. This is a great disservice to Alaska voters who twice voted against aerial killing of wolves, and also an insult to wildlife professionals.
The American Society of Mammalogists unanimously passed a resolution (August 2006), stating "predator control cannot be considered sound or wise in the absence of adequate data. Alaska's current harvest guidelines are based on historical population estimates that almost certainly are not accurate. Harvest goals should be based on reliable current data on populations and the carrying capacities of their habitats." (ASM letter to Gov. Frank Murkowski, Aug. 4, 2006) These professional wildlife scientists certainly can't be dismissed by Arno -- or anyone else -- as "animal rights advocates"!
The recent announcement to use $400,000 from state funds for an education campaign about predator control is timed to influence a citizens ballot initiative addressing this subject. The state should not use public funds to influence an election! We urge Gov. Sarah Palin to stop this inappropriate use of public money, and to respect the views of Alaskans expressed through the ballot measure process.
---- Walter A. Glooschenko