As she presides over bringing yet another life into the world, Gov. Palin is also presiding over one of the bloodiest administrations in regards to our wildlife. Palin's Board of Game, stacked with Alaska Outdoor Council allies sure to support any wide-scale killing of predators, has approved Ralph Seekins' efforts to begin a slaughter of black bears in game management unit 16B. This is a project so reprehensible that an Alaska hunter group, the Alaska Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, opposes it.
Though there's some question about the black bear population figures cited, Ralph Seekins has formed a chapter of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. It would be better called the "Seekins' Slaughter Squad" given its apparent sole purpose.
Despite international efforts to curb the sale of black bear parts, approval has been given Seekins' group to sell skins with claws. As these "sportsmen" hide, ready to ambush bears attracted to their bait stations, they can target boars, sows and even cubs.
Seekins now moves from failed ex-senator to cub-killer, as in the finest tradition of Henry Ford he turns wildlife management into assembly-line slaughter.
If there is a sure way to give ethical, responsible hunters a black eye, it's this. It's particularly sad all Alaskans will have to bear the shame of this management by massacre about to be perpetrated by a handful of extremists.
-- Art Greenwalt
EDITOR'S NOTE: The writer is a board member of Alaska Wildlife Alliance.