To the editor:
I just wanted to express my extreme dismay with the actions of the Board of Game, the governor and the Legislature with respect to the policy of predator control.
First, I find it offensive that the Board of Game is composed of members who represent one point of view, rather than the diversity of points of view found in Alaska. No board can continue to work in an honest way or with integrity when it does not strive to hear, appreciate and evaluate diverse points of view. In this case, the voice of the people who disapprove of predator control as it is currently set up is systematically ignored.
Second, I find the current policies regarding predator control immensely offensive, and the arguments are disingenuous. There is little to no scientific basis for this program. It is well-established that animal populations of both prey and predator have cycles of population growth in years with plentiful food sources and population decline in lean years, and they don't need human management to survive unless they are otherwise threatened. It is also fairly obvious that with increasing numbers of Alaskans who hunt, whether for sustenance or for sport, there are likely to be noted declines in animal populations, including moose.
At some point, it is necessary to balance subsistence hunting with the increasing human population. To attribute poor moose populations to natural predators, and then to kill those predators for no other reason than to artificially boost prey populations for human consumption or sport is dishonest reasoning.
From a religious point of view, I find the predator control program unethical. To take a life for no other purpose than to artificially increase our ability to hunt prey is surely not justified, since most of us are not suffering from extreme duress. I believe in subsistence hunting, but I don't believe this program is managed honestly for that purpose, and I begin to wonder who takes part in this aerial predator control program.
Hunters? Most hunters I know do not view this as hunting; it certainly is not fair hunting.