The March 8 Compass piece "Wildlife management bill goes too far," was an excellent critique of a couple of bills (SB 176, HB 256). If made law, these bills would essentially prevent public input to the wildlife management process and eliminate the need for the Board of Game to use science in its decision-making. The Board of Game would then be able to bias its decisions largely on the wishes of special-interest groups, particularly the Alaska Outdoor Council.
Balanced wildlife management aims to keep wildlife populations, both game and nongame species, at desirable levels based upon science and public demands. It requires use of the best available science to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of people, representing hunters as well as other nonconsumptive users such as ecotourism, wildlife viewing and photography. Yet in Alaska, our last great wilderness, no consideration is given by the board to any factors except how many moose and caribou can be produced to be killed by hunters. This effectively turns the Great Land into a game feedlot! It's time to reach our legislators, opposing these bills. Then diversify the Board of Game to represent interests of all Alaskans!
-- Walter A. Glooschenko