Wolf Song of Alaska News

Oppose HB 256

Letters / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / February 8, 2008

Imagine Alaska's wildlife regulations being based on a hunch rather than biological findings. Now imagine those same regulations being exempt from legal challenge. House Bill 256, now being considered by state legislators, would "accomplish" these things.

One major reason for this bill is: The Board of Game does not like losing lawsuits. The board is under court review because it apparently didn't follow its own procedures the last time it implemented airborne predator control. A court also closed Gov. Palin's airborne wolf bounty program last April.  A second reason for the bill is: to make predator control more politically-based. HB 256 removes the requirement that the board looks to the best data available before giving the go-ahead to new aerial wolf gunning areas.

Most of the 14 percent of Alaskans who hold a hunting license are ethical and fully utilize the meat and other resources provided by our wildlife. Small special interests - not average hunters - control the Alaska Outdoor Council and other organizations, who exhort pervasive influence over the Board of Game. If this seems unfair to the vast majority of Alaskans, you won't be happy that House Bill 256 will further disenfranchise the majority. Additionally, HB 256 specifically adds brown bear and wolverines to the airborne hit list.    You can support responsible science-based wildlife management by opposing this regressive legislation. Please contact your local Legislative Information Office and your representatives and senators. They have the full text of this regressive legislation.

John Toppenberg

Alaska Wildlife Alliance

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