Predator control advocates should learn that myths are no match for facts


Sam Cotten’s Nov. 30 Commentary (“Florida protesters schooled in Native methods at Alaska Board of Recreation assembly”) perpetuates an extended-standing fable created by promoters of utmost predator management packages — specifically, that if solely those that oppose such controversial packages knew “the information” they might change their minds and help predator management. Moreover, the parable claims those that oppose excessive predator management are primarily outdoors animal rights advocates who oppose searching and don’t perceive how Alaska manages wildlife.

Mr. Cotten described a studying course of at a current Recreation Board assembly the place a gaggle of Florida protesters interacted with Native college students and consequently apologized and withdrew help for his or her proposals to ban taking black bears in dens, cubs and sows with cubs. One board member was quoted as saying the Florida group was going again house to teach different individuals about what was actually occurring in Alaska.

As a former Recreation Board member and one who has been concerned in these points for over forty years, I’ve heard the voices of lots of of Alaskans, lots of them hunters, who opposed widespread aerial capturing of wolves by personal pilots, helicopter capturing of bears and wolves by Fish and Recreation biologists, and gassing wolf pups in dens. They opposed intensive administration packages that included trapping of bears, baiting brown bears, similar-day airborne searching of bears, capturing feminine bears and cubs and sale of bear physique elements. By any normal, these strategies can be thought-about excessive. Predictably, many Alaskans have been dismayed when, in recent times, the Recreation Board aggressively utilized these more and more controversial intensive administration practices over a lot of the state, and hundreds of wolves and bears have been killed in consequence.

Alaskan opponents mobilized early on and in 1996 and once more in 2000, poll measures sponsored by Alaskans proscribing aerial capturing of wolves handed by giant margins. Alaska’s resident voters handed these measures, not outdoors teams.

In 2005, a letter of concern signed by over one hundred scientists went to Gov. Frank Murkowski requesting that predator management packages incorporate sound science. An identical letter signed by much more scientists went to Gov. Sarah Palin.  And a corporation of professional biologists twice handed resolutions urging the identical. Those that signed the letters and drafted the resolutions have been scientists, not animal rights advocates.

As a biologist who has studied…



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