Letters: Readers discuss illegal Makah whale hunt

Ann Stateler and Odin Lonning: ""The time is overdue for Makah elders, culture bearers and tribal leaders to reassess the viability of whaling in the 21st century. Imperiled by global warming, habitat destruction and other monumental threats, fragile whale populations will not endure for the next seven generations if only select groups of humans commit to protecting whales, while others persist in exploiting whales."

Andy Fisher: "How many of those who've written in to condemn the hunt are even aware of the Navy's ongoing effort to test a new form of sonar that deafens whales and drives them onto beaches? How many contribute to and benefit from the daily despoliation of the environment that has brought Northwest salmon populations to the brink of collapse?"

Jeff Hickey: "Neither the Makah nor all Americans have any obligation to exercise a legal right only in the "traditional" way. Neither the U.S. Constitution nor a single Indian treaty contains that requirement. Once granted a right, we can exercise that right in any way we choose, provided we do it legally and we do not harm others."

Rob Nielsen: "The use of a "machine gun" was referred to a combined total of four times in Wednesday's letters to the editor and it was implied that this nontraditional addition to the hunt adds to the "torture" of the whale. The Weatherby rifle used in the hunt was a bolt-action rifle designed to hunt elephants. Each cartridge is loaded by operating the action manually; the rifle is neither "automatic" nor "semiautomatic.""

Eugene Goodrich: "Ignore the gun (machine gun, high-powered rifle, or whatever other new description may appear). Ignore whether traditional canoes are used in the whale hunt. Ignore whether the whale's flesh gets eaten, or people connect with their heritage. An overarching issue is whether it's OK to hunt these animals, and why (or why not)."

Get the Story:
Letters to the Editor: "Their selfish, cruel act betrayed whales and the Makah Tribe." (The Seattle Times 9/14)

Relevant Documents:
Tribal Council Statement | Makah Tribal Whale Hunt | Marine Mammal Protection Act

Court Decisions:
Anderson v. Evans (June 7, 2004) | Anderson v. Evans (December 20, 2002)

Relevant Links:
Makah Nation - http://www.makah.com

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Makah leaders hopeful after Washington meetings (9/13)
Column: Makah Nation shouldn't hunt whales (9/13)
Makah Nation hires former Slade Gorton aide (9/12)
Editorial: Illegal hunt may be last for Makah Nation (9/12)
Unauthorized hunt likely to delay action on permit (9/11)
Editorial: Makah Nation reacts swiftly to rogue hunt (9/11)
Editorial: Illegal whale hunters must be punished (9/11)
Makah Nation blasts unauthorized whale hunt (9/10)
Makah Nation to discuss rogue hunt on Capitol Hill (9/10)
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Opinion: Makah Nation whale hunt is not legal (02/12)
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