Three OneProtest volunteers gave testimony at the Board of Game meeting in Anchorage recently. All three spoke in support of a single proposal. The proposal was to completely ban the hunting of bear cubs and sows with cubs in Alaska. They were not all from Florida. One member of our team was an Anchorage resident, one of the many who supported our proposal. The other two volunteers flew in to support her.
We are against the hunting of bear cubs!
We did not withdraw our proposal. It was not retracted. It was submitted, deliberated and ultimately the board voted against it. We did amend our proposal with additional information as our understanding evolved. We spoke with the Board of Game members. They were courteous, helpful and open to feedback. In addition, we had discussions with advisory council representatives, elders and many others. They all said the same thing – they are not hunting bear cubs.
[Florida protesters schooled in Native ways at Alaska Board of Game meeting]
The apology was not offered for our proposal. Our apology was for any offense our initial misunderstanding may have caused the Native peoples. The Alaskan Administrative code 92.260 does sanction the killing bear cubs. The Board of Game voted to keep it as is. Although that would make for a sensational headline in national papers, it would be misleading. The people we spoke with were shocked and appalled at the accusation. It was not just the 20 students mentioned in the prior article. A great number of representatives traveled and testified, many for the first time, to clarify for us and the rest of the world. They are not hunting bear cubs. Regardless of what the administrative code may say, that is not part of their tradition and culture.
The intensive management and predator control program as a whole is a much larger issue. We understand there are other groups actively opposing this program and we commend their efforts, as science is clearly on their side. Our proposal was focused solely on bear cubs.
We strongly encourage everyone to watch the two-minute video and read our own article (www.stopcubhunting.org) for a full explanation. In addition, feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions at email@example.com.
Adam Sugalski is executive director of OneProtest, an animal advocacy group based in Jacksonville, Fla.
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