The Call of the Wild: Alaska's Wolf-Management Program

Regarding the editorial "Alaska Versus the Wolves," Dec. 4: I am writing on behalf of the Alaskan Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association.

We have heard that many people who oppose the State of Alaska's new wolf- management program are boycotting Alaskan tourism. The Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association opposes a boycott, which would only hurt both those who value wolves and those whose livelihood depends in part on wolves.

As wilderness guides and outfitters, we know that wolves play an important role in the ecosystem. As business people, we oppose the use of state funds to kill wolves because wolves have economic value to the tourism industry. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game did not contact representatives of the tourism industry for input regarding the hunt, or its effect on the tourism industry, even though we serve on the state's Watchable Wildlife Steering Committee.

Recommended: Default

One argument made by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in support of wolf control is that this will improve the ability of tourists to see wildlife. We have serious questions about this assumption. Nancy R. Lethcoe, Valdez, Alaska, President, Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Assoc. Species preservation

While most of us would like to be as much of an environmentalist as the author, the Opinion page article "A Better Approach to Preserving Species," Oct. 22, is just more ivory-tower rhetoric.

The problem with species preservation in the United States is that approximately 90 percent of biological diversity in the eastern and central US is on private land. True to form, the author proposes copious administrative and legal programs and funding for everything but the poor landowner who has invested labor, capital, and love in the land. Somehow it is always the landowner who is expected to sacrifice for the greater good.

What the endangered species program needs is not more administration and attorney welfare plans but more compensation money at the private grass-roots level, and that's the hard part. James Hanks, Durango, Colo. A `bear' of a dilemma

The Habitat page article "Park Faces People-Bear Dilemma," Nov. 10, illustrates how tourists place themselves above and superior to nature. Glacier National Park is one of the most beautiful parks that I have ever been to because it has not been domesticated.

Grizzlies have rights to live. I completely disagree with the response that Chris Servheen of the United States Fish & Wildlife Service made regarding the aggressive nature of grizzlies. He said that he "doesn't tolerate those types of aggressive bears." If tourists feel that their lives are in danger at Glacier and other parks, then don't go. S. B. C., Tacoma, Wash. The Golden State

I stand aghast at the one-sidedness of the Home Forum page article "Buying Into the Field of Dreams," Nov. 27.

I have lived in California all of my life, and I know the beauty of its coastline, the vastness of the Sierras, the breathtaking antiquity of the redwoods, the jewel-like setting of its bays, and the magnificent Yosemite Valley.

There are some things needing correction in California: the crowding of highways, the overinflated property values, and the lowering of moral standards, which is not confined within our state borders. But there is much that is fine in the state of California that has nurtured me and mine for many years. Lucille Tanner, San Mateo, Calif.

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