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Help the McNeil Bear Sanctuary off linmits to hunting


Alaska's Game Board Needs Members Other Than Hunters and Trappers

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / January 31, 2009

Regarding Bob Bells recent tribute to misinformation ("Game Board's first priority should be animals, not people," Jan. 23):

First we are asked to accept his flawed premise that the Board of Game represents only "game populations," when in reality they currently represent only hunters and trappers. This is the result of wildlife being regulated for the political special interests of the guides, hunters and trappers.

If wildlife were regulated for all Alaskans, as the constitution mandates, tourism, wildlife watchers and others would have a voice at the table. Those of us who believe in modern accepted biological standards know that all wildlife, not just "game populations," must be managed for ecosystem health if that ecosystem is to remain healthy in the long term.

A start would be to accept the state biologists' finding that wolverine trapping in the Chugach must be stopped if wolverines are to survive there. If we continue to manage wildlife simply to maximize opportunities for hunters and trappers (a minority of Alaskans) then the majority of wildlife species are devoid of consideration and the health of America's last large intact ecosystems will be lost.

Alaska's wildlife deserves better than the Stone Age biology they are now getting.

-- John Toppenberg, Director

Alaska Wildlife Alliance


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