I am a CSU alumna, and a former opinion columnist for the Collegian. I'm writing to tell you about an urgent situation in Alaska. For the last two summers I worked as a biologist on a brown bear study. Our camp was between Katmai National Park and McNeil River Sanctuary – both famous bear-viewing areas (practically every picture of bears catching salmon in waterfalls are from these places.)
These areas have been closed to bear hunting for many years. Wide-open habitat and tolerant bears made Douglas the perfect place to study, but now the Alaska Board of Game wants to reopen brown bear hunting in this area. The BOG, with virtually no scientific input, is willing to slaughter this acclimated bear population for money. And the tolerance of the bears to humans will lead to a rapid depletion. I am certainly not anti-hunting. I know the importance of hunters to conservation. I just want to inform as many people as possible about this under-exposed issue. I have made a Web site about all of this: http://home.earthlink.net/~alaskabears/.
The deadline for written comments is Feb. 18, although it may be possible to get letters there in to March. Bears are not what most people think they are; they are slow and thoughtful more often than swift and brutal. The thought of losing such a unique population makes me indescribably sad. Please help me protect this wild place.