Wolf Song of Alaska News

Bear Slaughter Gives Alaska a Black Eye

Letters / Juneau Empire / March 21, 2008

It would seem as she presides over bringing yet another life into the world, Gov. Sarah Palin also is presiding over one of the bloodiest administrations in regards to our wildlife.

With a Board of Game that is stacked with Alaska Outdoors Council members, and therefore sure to support any wide-scale killing of predators, Palin's board has now approved Ralph Seekins' efforts to begin a slaughter of black bears in Game Management Unit 16B. This is a project so reprehensible that already the Alaska Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has come out against it, as have a number of conservation organizations.

Though there seems to be some question about the numbers of black bear being used to justify this action, Seekins, a single-term state senator voted out of office in part for his extreme views on wildlife management, has formed an Alaska chapter of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife.

At a time when there are efforts worldwide to curb the sale of black bear parts on an international black market, we see approval being given to Seekins' group to sell hides and claws. As these "sportsmen" hide, ready to blast away at the bears attracted to their bait stations, they can target not only the boars but sows and even cubs. Imagine their sense of triumph as one, two, three cubs fall dead.

If there is a sure way to give ethical, responsible hunters a black eye, it's this sort of action, approved by the Palin administration's board. Wildlife is a resource owned equally by all Alaskans. So it is particularly sad we will all have to bear the shame of this management by massacre that is about to be perpetrated by a handful of extremists.

Art Greenwalt
Vice President, Alaska Wildlife Alliance



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