Letter: Appropriate protection for state’s wildlife should be a priority

Kate Troll’s column (April 10) alerted us that Alaska’s environmental protections are substandard. 

But they may get worse. State refuges and critical habitats are managed with modest restrictions that conserve healthy wildlife and habitats. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game may soon strip many restrictions from these areas.

Maybe you enjoy watching baby geese and cranes from the Potter Marsh boardwalk — without dodging bicycles and dogs, and without motorboats scaring them away. It would be unfortunate if those disturbances are allowed.  Snowmachines could damage the marsh in winter. And rules against surface mining and oil and gas exploration could be weakened. 

Fish and Game is about to revise the rules for management areas statewide. That’s fine — except that some officials hope to relax all restrictions.

Some say current restrictions are too strong. But management for each area was developed with input and agreement from the local public so that wildlife can flourish while the public enjoys hunting, fishing or just watching. 

Please tell Fish and Game and legislators that you support appropriate protections for our wildlife areas.

— Vivian Mendenhall