Wolf Song of Alaska News

Predator Control

Letters / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / August 5, 2008


To the editor:

I am extremely offended by the abuse of the truth by those who support Ballot Measure 2 in the upcoming primary election. The proponents have a belief system based on zero percent science and 100 percent emotion, riddled with hypocrisy and roiling with contempt for humans.

In the 1980s, ABC's Nightline hired a local pilot to get footage of a wolf. They harassed and ran the wolf to exhaustion to get their footage. Now this footage is being used to portray predator control agents as harassing the wolf. Then they use footage of a wolf being darted for scientific purposes to insinuate this is aerial predator control.

Proponents of Measure 2 are confusing voters by appealing to emotions rather than the truth. Fact: Wolf control will not eliminate wolves in Alaska. It is being done in about 11 percent of the state and even in those places, wolves will only be reduced, not eliminated. Fact: The willingness of private pilots and their passengers to risk their aircraft and their lives to participate in control activities saves the state hundreds of thousands of dollars. They do so because they have seen first-hand the imbalance between predators and prey in those parts of the state where control is under way.

I served on the Alaska Board of Game in the 1990s. Having sat through hundreds of hours of complicated and information-laden presentations, I can tell you the relevant issues can't be captured in one-minute or 30-second ads like those being run by Measure 2 proponents.

A vote for Measure 2 means Alaska's game managers won't be able to conduct control programs except in a "biological emergency." What constitutes an emergency isn't well defined, but proponents have argued it means when an irreversible decline of prey is inevitable. If the decline is irreversible and inevitable, control is pointless. It's too late to do anything at all. Is this really the way Alaskans want their game managed - on an emergency basis?

I urge you to vote no on Measure 2.

Sue Entsminger, Tok

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