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Sarah Palin's War on Wildlife
Aerial Hunting of Wolves
Aerial Hunting of Wolves
Fight Palin's Wildlife Policies
Why Predator Conservation Matters
- Book Review: "Where the Wild Things Were"
Veteran science writer William Stolzenburg's first book, Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators, is a passionate call for large predator conservation.
As for you, my flock... Is it not enough for you to feed on good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? Ezekiel 34:17-18.
Sarah Palin is well-known for her pro-life beliefs. She opposes abortion even for underage girls in cases of rape or incest.
Yet her belief in the sanctity of life does not extend to the creatures that share our world.
Sarah Palin supports the brutal practice of aerial hunting, in which wolves and bears are shot from planes, or chased until they collapse from exhaustion and shot when they fall.
The people of Alaska voted twice (in 1996 and again in 2000) to ban the practice of aerial wolf hunting, but the state legislature overturned both bans.
As Governor, Palin proposed a $150 bounty on the forelegs of wolves in order to keep aerial hunting financially viable in the face of rising gasoline costs. Previously, aerial hunters had relied on proceeds from the sale of the pelts, estimated at $200-300 each. The bounty was closed when the Alaska Superior Court ruled that the state has repealed bounty laws in 1984 and had no legal authority to enact new bounties.
Under Palin, Alaska also spent $400,000 of state money to "educate" the public about aerial hunting. Scientific and legal reviews by Defenders of Wildlife found numerous factual errors and other inaccuracies in the pamphlets produced. The campaign was timed to coincide with a third attempt (Measure 2) to ban the aerial hunting of wolves, bears, and wolverines. Measure 2 was defeated on August 26, 2008.
Palin has also expanded the powers of the Alaska Department of Fish and Wildlife and Board of Game. For the first time in over 20 years, state-operated helicopters are being used to shoot wolves, at a cost to taxpayers of approximately $1000 an hour, and for the first time in Alaskan history, the Board of Game approved a plan to allow sow bears with cubs to be killed, as part of an effort to reduce the black bear population by 60%. State officials also illegally killed 14 wolf pups, dragging them from their den and shooting them execution style in the head.
Sarah Palin claims that her predator control policies are implemented to help Alaska's unusually large population of subsistence hunters in the face of competition from Alaska's estimated 7,000-11,000 wolves, and are based on strong science. However, in 2007, 172 scientists signed a letter to Palin, stating that the state's predator control policies were "inadequately designed" and threatened the long-term health of populations of both the predators and the ungulates the plan was intended to protect. In particular, the scientists complained, state officials had set population objectives for moose and caribou that were based on "unattainable, unsustainable historically high populations."
Why It Matters
Sarah Palin's predator policy shows an alarming disdain for science, a willingness to break the law and misappropriate public funds in pursuit of her own ends, and a "my way or the highway" attitude that brooks no dissent.
Sarah Palin's anti-wolf policies have continues following the failue of her vice presidential bid.
Alaska recently began a program intended to raise caribou populations in the Upper Yukon by killing 75% of the region's wolves, over the protest of wildlife biologists who argue that the state is dramatically overestimating the number of wolves and pursuing unrealistic caribou population goals.
Learn More About Sarah Palin's "Predator Control" Policies
- GrizzlyBay.org: Governor Sarah Palin information
The Truth About Sarah Palin
- Sarah Palin, predator control, shooting wolves | Salon
With a disdain for science that alarms wildlife experts, Sarah Palin continues to promote Alaska's policy to gun down wolves from planes.
- Friends of Animals | Vicious: Sarah Palin’s War on Wolves
This past June, on a cool morning in southwest Alaska, fourteen wolf pups were pulled from their dens and shot in the head, one by one, by state biologists sanctioned by Governor Sarah Palin.
- Sarah Palin's Big, Sleazy Safari | AlterNet
In her time as governor of Alaska, Palin has used her position to ruin the Alaskan wilderness in every way she could.