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Sarah Palin's War on Wildlife

Updated on November 23, 2010
Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Aerial Hunting of Wolves

Aerial Hunting of Wolves

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 The bounty was closed when the Alaska Superior Court ruled that the state has repealed bounty laws in 1984 and had no legal authority to enact new bounties.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.

Edited: 03/18/2009

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.



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    • lime light power profile image

      lime light power 6 years ago from NY NY

      Wow. Excellent hub, well written and well informed. Palin's politics creep me out. Time and time again the only rational explanation for anything that she does is that she just doesn't give a crap about anything unless it serves her purposes. Which I think by now we've all figured out is simply to line her own pockets.

    • Barbara Yurkoski profile image

      Barbara Yurkoski 8 years ago

      Good information Kerry.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      The information here and in the links you provide is chilling. Thank you for putting this review together. One may argue with another's opinion, but there is no arguing with these facts.

      Thumbs up.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 9 years ago from UK

      Kerry, this speaks volumes. I haven't seen this information on any of the other hubs about Palin (and trust me, I've read quite a few!) I'm not a big animal lover, but at the same time I don't like to see them killed for no good reason. Animals are part of the eco-system, and have their own place in the grand design. Nature has a way of resolving population issues on it's own, and doesn't require assistance from people who think that shooting animals from the air is a good way to go on. I know that the Bible indicates that all creatures on this earth are here for man's benefit, but I've always imagined that to mean for food and clothing, not sport!

      In the end, it matters not a whit whether I like miss Palin or not, as I live in the UK, but the more I read about her, the more concerned I become.

    • profile image

      Timburr 9 years ago

      I see the world has a lot to learn!

    • qlcoach profile image

      Gary Eby 9 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon

      You're right this stuff doesn't make sense. Excellent hub and thanks for educating us. Feel free to see how I try to help others too. Sincerely: Gary Eby, author and therapist.

    • hot dorkage profile image

      hot dorkage 9 years ago from Oregon, USA

      And who benefits from shooting these wolves from planes? It's always instructive to "follow the money." of course Alaska has so much money that maybe it's just because someone feels like it. I lost any respect I had for McCain when he picked Palin.