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Bear Education Group Cancels Trip to Alaska

April 07, 2005 | Wolves

Dear Governor Murkowksi:

I am the director of the Bear Education And Resource Group, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to fostering peaceful coexistence between black bears and people.

Last year, members of my organization visited Alaska and were very impressed with the stunning mountains and beautiful wilderness. We were thrilled to see bald eagles, moose, wolves, and grizzly bears (which we unfortunately do not have in New Jersey!). Most tourists to Alaska come for the very same see unspoiled wilderness and wild animals.

It was with much dismay that I learned that Alaska is now allowing the aerial hunting of wolves. Don't you realize that wolves and other animals are the primary "tourist attractions" in Alaska? No amount of hunting money can ever equal the tourist dollars that they generate. There are so few places in our country where one can go to see these magnificent animals. Please stop this unnecessary and unethical killing immediately. As governor, I hope you will make preservation of the environment and its inhabitants a top priority. Otherwise, your state will become like all the rest"¦overdeveloped, with no room for or tolerance of the beautiful animals who were here first.

My organization has cancelled the trip we had scheduled for this August, to support the boycott of Alaska tourism caused by the wolf hunt. I was hesitant to deprive the wonderful eco-tourism company we use of anticipated income, but in light of the wolf hunt boycott, we simply cannot justify spending our money in Alaska.

Please do everything in your power to stop this senseless killing.

Thank you,

Lynda M. Smith
Director, the Bear Education And Resource Group

This letter, posted with permission, was sent to Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski to alert him to the cancelation of a five-day bear-watching expedition scheduled for August. The organization will spend their travel dollars elsewhere, out of support for the Alaska tourism boycott.


I guess Governor Murkowski wants to be remembered in history as the governor who loved killing our fellow creatures of this earth. It appears that this governor has done nothing to protect the beautiful wilderness of Alaska. He has only served to pass legislation that will threaten certain species with extinction. Not only are wolves being killed, but now Grizzlies as well in an ill-fated attempt to help the moose population. It all comes down to the money the state makes from hunting licenses at the cost of the lives of other precious animals. Hasn't anything been learned from past mistakes when animals were hunted to the brink of extinction? Why is it necessary for people to constantly interfere with nature? I only hope that the citizens of Alaska take heart and realize the future of their beautiful and vast wilderness is on very thin ice.

I really think Lynda should stay in NJ. For the rest of you, come and live here for 10 or 20 years, then you can have an opinion. Though I may disagree with the opinion of some folks who live here regarding preditor control, I respect their opinions. For those of you who live outside and maybe come up here on a cruise ship or motor coach, spend 7-14 days here and think you have a clue about our issues, keep your uninformed opinions to yourselves! By the way, I am in the Tourist Industry, have been so for 20 years and I love this business and enjoy sharing my state and town with visitors. I just don't have a lot of regard for Freinds of Animals and their ilk. Lastly, I came here in 1954 when I was 5 and I will probably die here. I love to see the eagles, watch a wolf in the wild, see a griz and her cubs in the high country, and see the moose eating trees in my yard. However, OUR State Constitution mandates that the State manage game for maximum year for the residents of Alaska, and we finally have a Governor willing and able to do that. I am so please to have a man in office for a change. Sheldon

Alaskans (I was one of them) forget major factors about being American. First, Alaska is a state which is part of a nation. That nation is ruled by a federal government. Basically, we all have a say in Alaskan issues since we are all under the same body of law. Alaska is just as much mine as Guam, Nevada, or a rock in Alabama. Second, Alaska receives $1.91 for every $1.00 they put into the federal coffers. That means, essentially, that "outsiders" own more of Alaska than Alaskans. Lest we also forget that the majority of Alaska is Federal, National land. (Thus, making the Arctic Refuge issue very much an 'American' issue). Since this message was posted, "Gordon" from Alaska replied: "Alaska is just getting what it was owned like any other state that join the union, We do have a right to roads and bridges like you do."

Sheldon is spoiled and wants to have it both ways. He enjoys the billions of dollars the state of Alaska receives in federal tax monies, revenues from tourism, and demands silence from critics of Alaska's wolf and bear control program. Although it's unlikely Shelton will appreciate this finer point: The wolves, bears, eagles, moose, caribou and more don't belong to him, or Alaska's politicians. They belong to themselves, and the world community. FoA urges everyone to stay out of Alaska this summer to respect the tourism boycott. Boycott travel to Alaska until the wolf control program is cancelled. Alaska's governance is a national disgrace.

i wish we could all just drop our egos and stop discussing things like governance and revenues and money, who lives where, what state is part of what country, borders, populations, budgets, etc., when what this is all about is life and death of actual living and breathing animals who have just as much a right to life as any human being. people like sheldon embarrass me as an alaskan. another example of an apathetic republican who would prefer a taxidermed animal to a living one. frank murkowski doesn't care about wildlife, he doesn't care about the earth, he doesn't care about the people of alaska. all he cares about is gross domestic profit.

I have no idea what this means... “Alaska is just getting what it was owned like any other state that join the union, We do have a right to roads and bridges like you do.” Scott

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