Wolf Song of Alaska News

Wildlife Massacre

Letters / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / March 28, 2008

To the editor:

It would seem as she presides over bringing yet another life into the world, Gov. Palin is also presiding over one of the bloodiest administrations in regard 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 BOG has now approved Ralph Seekins' efforts to begin a slaughter of black bears in Unit 16B. This is a project so reprehensible that already an Alaska hunter group, the Alaska Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, has come out against it, as have a number of Alaska conservation organizations.

Though there seems to be some question about how inflated the black bear numbers are which are being used to justify this action, Ralph 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. It would be better called the "Seekins' Slaughter Squad" given its sole purpose to date.

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 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 to these sportsmen's rifles.

Taking along several of his hunting buddies, Seekins now moves from failed ex-senator to cub-killer as in the finest tradition of Henry Ford he turns hunting and wildlife management into assembly-line slaughter.

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 BOG. Wildlife is a resource owned equally by all Alaskans. So it is particularly sad that all Alaskans will have to bear the shame of this management by massacre that is about to be perpetrated by a handful of extremists.

Art Greenwalt, Fairbanks

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