For an unprecedented third time, 57,000 Alaskans have signed an initiative to put the issue of aerial predator control back on the ballot this summer. With no representation on the Board of Game for the 85 percent of Alaskans who do not hunt, the citizen initiative has been the only method the majority of Alaska residents have had for representation in the management of our state's wildlife resources. Biased representation on the Board of Game allows a single voice to dominate the issue of predator control in Alaska.
Now, Gov. Sarah Palin has introduced legislation, HB 256 and SB 176, that directly rebukes Alaskans. For the first time, the Legislature is being asked to give the Board of Game the authority to invoke aerial predator control based on just its opinion. The board will have no requirements to use science to investigate whether it is lack of food or which predator, bears or wolves, may be contributing to low game populations. This bill strikes science out of the statutes governing the use of aerial predator control.
Gov. Palin supported the cruise ship initiative, demanding that the legislators uphold the will and intent of the people. How can she ignore three initiatives and two statewide votes on predator control? Why does Gov. Palin perpetuate non-representation on the Board of Game?
-- Wade Willis
EDITOR'S NOTE: The writer owns an eco-tourism business.