Wolf Song of Alaska News


Poor Choice

 Letters / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / May 18, 2010

To the editor:

The Legislature, after listening to concerns of their constituency, recently rejected Al Barette’s appointment to the Board of Game mainly because of Barette’s decisions possibly resulting in financial gain for his business. Parnell’s new choice, Nate Turner, will make decisions that will possibly result in financial gain for his business.

Parnell disregarded the application of a senior Alaskan who has been a hunter for more than 50 years, holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in biology and wildlife management and has studied moose and wolf populations in Alaska for 36 years. A man with such knowledge is exactly the kind of person who would bring expertise and diversity to the board.

One has to wonder what sweetheart deal got a young man with zero scientific background appointed instead. A recently published article describes the new appointee as a Nenana man, living a subsistence life on the Kantishna River, while in fact he lives in Fairbanks and charges anywhere from $14,000 to $27,000 per person for a single hunting trip. That would bring a whole new meaning to the term subsistence.

The expertise that Nate Turner brings to the board is that he knows best how to hunt and kill. We already have six members on the board who are experts at that.

Let’s be clear: This is not directed at Turner personally. People are speaking up because the opinions of more than 80 percent of Alaskans are not being represented by the board, and this is against the law. The opposing camp is always quick to decry us as tree-huggers or animal-rights freaks, yet all the public is asking for is representation with a better focus on responsible management for sustainability.

The bears in my neck of the woods are being habituated by the 10 bait stations per hunter that are allowed. Decisions by the board directly impact our lives. We have the right to be represented. Gov. Parnell ignores the people of Alaska not just on this but many other issues, and we gladly return the favor come election time.

Anja Phenix, Healy AK



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