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This isn’t a reputation Alaska wants.
Alaska State Troopers are charging two Matanuska Valley men with illegally shooting a sow black bear and her two newborn cubs in a den in April and trying to cover their tracks on Esther Island in Prince William Sound.
A motion-triggered game camera captured the incident because the bears were part of a U.S. Forest Service and Alaska Department of Fish and Game study.
Cameras pop up in the least expected places.
Then, in July, Alaska Wildlife Troopers seized more than 1,500 pounds of pink salmon and nearly 32,000 pounds of chum salmon caught illegally near Homer. A wildlife trooper witnessed the incident.
Officials filed charges in both cases and the Alaska court system will sort out the facts, and, if the charges are founded, then hold responsible parties accountable.
Unfortunately, cases like this occur in Alaska. Similar reports are made all too frequently, and some folks have paid the penalty.
But Alaska is better than this sort of behavior. Most Alaskans respect the law and protect the wildlife and the natural resources.
It’s a point of pride. We are responsible caretakers of the state called Alaska. We hunt, we fish, and we do it within the rules that ensure sustainable harvests and that allow for all Alaskans — and visitors — to appreciate wildlife as we choose, whether it’s as a fisher, a hunter, a photographer or a spectator.
That’s the reputation we want. And we appreciate the troopers for protecting it.