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Help the McNeil Bear Sanctuary off linmits to hunting

Game Input Not Limited to Hunters

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / March 4, 2009

I've seen a number of letters to the editor in the last few weeks from hunters who argue that Alaskans who don't buy hunting licenses shouldn't have as much say as they do in how Alaska's fish and game are managed. Rod Arno, executive director of the Alaska Outdoor Council, made the same argument to the Board of Game this week.

I'm a hunter. When I buy a hunting license, I buy the opportunity to harvest at least 1,000 pounds of game meat for my freezer. What I don't buy is the right to have any greater say in how Alaska's fish and game are managed than an Alaskan who doesn't buy a license.

In 1989, in the court case McDowell v. State of Alaska, the sports hunters argued successfully that granting a preference to rural Alaskans in allocating the state's fish and game resources violated the equal access clause of the state's constitution. I find it ironic -- and not a little hypocritical -- that 20 years later, the Outdoor Council, and the hunters and trappers it represents, are arguing that they should be granted the same kind of preference over nonhunters.

-- Ann Rothe

Eagle River AK

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