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Help the McNeil Bear Sanctuary off linmits to hunting

 

Bell Represents Game All Right, But Only Game That Hunters Want

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / February 1, 2009

Who does Bob Bell think he's kidding? Certainly not anyone who pays attention to Board of Game matters. In his recent Compass piece, Bell would like us to believe that as a member of the Game Board he represents Alaska's "game populations" (a good word choice given his utilitarian emphasis). Yet Bell's actions on the Board of Game make it clear he represents much different -- and narrower -- interests, namely those of hunters and trappers, particularly urban ones.

Bell's priorities are best exhibited by his stubborn determination to allow the trapping of wolverines in Chugach State Park, despite strong evidence (gathered by state biologists) that such trapping threatens the wolverine population. Bell also pushed for the hunting of trophy bulls in Chugach Park's Hillside area, again against the advice of Fish and Game staff (fortunately other board members opposed the hunt).

And he voted last year to allow the killing of any black bears in GMU 16 -- including females with cubs and even the cubs themselves -- in order to boost the moose population. In that case I suppose you could argue he's representing the interests of moose at the expense of bears. But he's really representing the interests of so-called "sport" hunters who want more opportunities to bag a moose.

Bell's priorities are an affront to Alaskans who do truly care about all wildlife species, not just the favored few desired by hunters and trappers.

-- Bill Sherwonit

Anchorage

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