To the editor:
I just saw a Fish and Game flyer titled "Understanding Intensive Management and Predator Control in Alaska." This glossy brochure comes out three weeks before Alaskans vote on Ballot Measure 2, an initiative to ban aerial wolf and bear hunting in Alaska.
Some claims are accurate, but let's cut through the marketing and lay out the real story. It's the Board of Game that's pushing this aerial hunting! And who exactly is on the BOG that's supposed to be representing all Alaskans? Well, it's seven hunters. There's nothing wrong with hunters, I've been one myself. However they're only 15 percent of Alaska's population. No other interests are represented. Sure, hunters should have a say in the management of our wildlife, but no more than other Alaskans. That's what our constitution says.
I believe using airplanes to hunt down wolves has less to do with science than with politics. The Alaska Outdoor Council managed to get their guys on the BOG. Remember, ADF&G supported the successful ballot measure against aerial hunting in 1996. After all the scary claims are made about the big, bad wolves and how we've got to keep them under control, remember this: wolves, bears, moose and caribou got along just fine since the beginning of time. They didn't need the hunters using airplanes to control them.
The legendary Fortymile Caribou Herd, the largest in history, was estimated at 700,000 when wolves and bears were managing them. Then whites arrived and hunted them almost out of existence. This was after settlers killed virtually every wolf in the Lower 48. Considering this grim history, do we really want to sanction an ongoing and probably neverending program to track and hunt wolves down with aircraft? I don't think so. Help us get Alaska out of the dark ages.
Vote yes on 2 on Aug. 26.
Sean McGuire, Fairbanks