Dear Representative Miller
As a resident of Alaska for 38 years, someone who has hunted here, I want to thank you very much for your efforts to enact legislation that will close the loophole in PAW which presently allows our Dept. of Fish and Game to conduct aerial killing of wolves and bears.
I realize you are already encountering opposition from our own Representative Don Young as I expected you would and thought some useful items of information might come in handy in refuting his arguments.
First and foremost, twice initiatives have been voted on by Alaskans to ban such aerial killing and both times the bans passed. Thus, within Alaska his stance lacks majority support.
Second, even within our Department of Fish and Game the consensus is not unanimous that such aerial killing is justified scientifically. Presently, our Board of Game (which sets such programs into action and which is supposedly answerable to the public) is composed solely of hunters and trappers with no conservationists or non-consumptive users even though a majority of Alaskans do not hunt or trap. Most of these BOG members belong to the Alaska Outdoors Council, an aggressively pro-hunting/trapping group who have very actively supported aerial killing of predators despite public opposition.
Third, a letter has been sent to Governor Sarah Palin signed by 200 wildlife management experts from across the nation denouncing the aerial predator killing program. I'm including a copy of the letter as an attachment. As you can see despite claims this program is scientifically based it is far from such.
If there are members of Congress to whom we should write concerning this please let me know and I will be glad to do so as well as distribute said list to other Alaskans of a like mind.
Again, thank you very, very much for your efforts in this regard. I truly hope you succeed.
Art Greenwalt / Fairbanks AK