House Bill 348 - legislation by Wes Keller of Wassilla has found itself dying on the vine in the House Legislature. He won't ask for a floor vote because nobody supports back door legislation that would remove the ability of the citizens of this state to vote on public policy issues involving managing our wildlife resources.
Rep Kellers own district voted in favor of the initiative process in 2000 as did 72% of the states citizens. But, we know Rep. Keller has little understanding or respect for the principles of democracy.
Instead of working with all user groups by allowing diversified representaiton on the Board of Game the legislature and the governor (past and present) continue to add board members that seek radical right wing policies that are not supported by Alaskans. The BOG is the biggest threat to Alaska's hunters rights we face. By developing contriversial predator control programs without fair and equal representaion of all Alaskans they ensure a big black eye for us hunters. A diversified BOG could develop predator control programs that would have public support. Democracy only works if the citizens can vote. If the ADF&G did the job with choppers and lots of good science nobody would be freaking out now.
Sooner or later, the 86% of Alaskan's that don't buy a hunting license are going to demand fair and equal representation on the BOG. Its mandated by law, fair and equal representation. Its a corner stone of democracy, fair and equal representation. Try as you might - you can't justify any bill that attemps to legislatethe public and vested user groups out of the process of managing Alaska's wildlife resources just because you don't agree with them on policy issues. The Biologists can set methods but the public must set PUBLIC policy! And by a vote of the people is where it happens. Denning will die the same fate as aerial predator control by the public.
HB 348 is yet another example of a small minority trying to abuse the democratic process. SFW and AOC is heavily funded by out of state right wing people that just don't understand Alaska.
We Alaskan's know our wildlife resources are our greatest resource and we have the knowledge and ability to manage our wildlife resources effectively. We don't fear the wolf or bear as those in the lower 48 do. Healthy wildlife populations need healthy predator populations. The wolves and bears never wiped out the moose, deer or caribou in the past. When the white man first showed up the moose, deer and caribou populations were staggering. The Kenai peninsula was stunning - what happened to those massive Moose found along the Kenai River? Did the wolf and bear destroy the moose and caribou on the peninsula? No, overpopulation of the human hunter did! We need predator control alright - but its the human predator that must be downsized.