Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 4:16 PM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Time for change at Fish and Game

During the Palin/Parnell era, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has, with its abundance-based ideology (i.e. game ranching), become a socialistic entitlement agency that wants to put a moose/caribou in every hunter's freezer regardless of conservation principles or hunting ethics.

To make matters worse, the Board of Game is aggressively trying to privatize Alaska's wildlife resources by passing regulations that favor commercial hunting and commercial services for hunters, particularly non-resident hunters who can afford expensive guided trips. What is lost in this resource grab is the constitutional mandate that says wildlife is a common-use resource that needs to be managed for sustainability and diversity, as well as abundance. All user groups deserve both respect and opportunity.

Speaking as both an Alaskan hunter and wildlife observer, I don't think my nonconsumptive use of wildlife is given respect by the reigning ideology. Furthermore, as a hunter who prefers to use skills instead of motors, I think my opportunities to hunt are compromised by Board of Game regulations that favor the industrial approach to hunting. The Rossi debacle makes clear that it's time for change.

George Matz