One thumb up, one thumb down


After seeing the cover of HCN in February -- a fear-stricken cow moose and a defenseless calf surrounded by wolves -- I was pleasantly surprised by Tracy Ross' article (HCN, 2/21/11). It was a fair assessment of the politics behind the increasingly controversial and risky methods that Alaska is employing to rid the state of as many predators as possible in order to artificially boost caribou and moose populations.

What really disappointed me as an advocate for scientifically defensible, balanced wildlife management was the article by Craig Medred, with its bizarre analogies and conclusions. Analyzing the history of humans and wolves, he concludes that: "A good argument can be made that wolves are a representative model of the first human tribes. But they are not like us anymore." Therefore we should kill them from helicopters?

Though Medred's thoughts on wolves may have "changed," he did little to inspire more than superficial thought, instead relying on the fear factor. Does that kind of journalism really inform your readers about the roles wolves play, or spark a discussion about why humans perversely pursue the same course over and over again and expect a different outcome?

That, my friends, is the definition of insanity -- which describes perfectly what is happening up here on the Last Frontier. If you are among the increasing number of wildlife viewers and wilderness lovers who have considered a trip to Alaska, I'd recommend you come for a visit sooner than later.

Valerie Connor
Conservation director
Alaska Center for the Environment

Anchorage, Alaska