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Vicious: Sarah Palin's War on Wolves

September 11, 2008 | Wolves / Alaska Boycott

by Marybeth Holleman
Anchorage, Alaska

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. At a month old, these pups had opened their eyes and ears less than two weeks earlier. They had ventured from the dark safety of the den once or twice. They had grown into rolling, tumbling, play-fighting puppies for whom their only care was, when would they next get to nurse?

They still depended entirely on their parents and their packs for food, shelter, protection. But every single adult member of their packs had already been gunned down from above by the Alaska state workers who shot them. These pups did nothing to deserve such a malicious early end to life other than to be born a wolf in Alaska in the era of Sarah Palin.

To most Americans in this day and age, this is atrocious. But to those of us who have watched Sarah Palin at work for the past two years, it's not at all surprising. As Governor, Palin has expanded Alaska's aerial hunting further and faster than any predecessor, since anything seen since territorial days, when all predators were targeted for extermination as worthless vermin.

I've lived in Alaska for nearly 25 years, long enough to see the on-again off-again cycles of predator control. But never has the killing of wolves and bears in order to inflate the numbers of moose and caribou been so widespread and mean-spirited as under Palin's reign.

Under Palin, private citizens kill wolves from planes under the guise of predator control. They run the wolves to exhaustion, and then shoot them. Under Palin, for the first time in 20 years, wolves are also gunned down from state-chartered helicopters. Palin authorized $400,000 in state funds for advertising to persuade Alaskans to vote against a ballot initiative that would have curtailed aerial hunting. Her propaganda was successful; the ballot measure failed.

Under Palin, for the first time since Alaska's statehood in 1958, it's legal to do land-and-shoot killing of bears and their cubs. Under Palin, predator control has spread from one to five regions of Alaska, to over 60,000 square miles, more than at any time since statehood. Nearly 800 wolves have been shot from planes, and some 2,000 are killed every year by other methods. And that's just the reported deaths. Palin even went so far last year as to put a bounty on wolves-she wanted to pay $150 for a foreleg of each dead wolf. Thanks to Friends of Animals, Alaska Wildlife Alliance, and Defenders of Wildlife, her wolf bounty was ruled illegal by the courts.

Wildlife scientists from around the country are dismayed at Palin's predator program, noting it doesn't meet the standards recommended by the U.S. National Research Council to justify, implement, monitor, and evaluate. Last year, 172 scientists wrote to Palin, warning her that if she did reach the "unsustainable historically high" moose and caribou numbers she sought, it would ecologically backfire in a huge way: not only would she put at risk the long-term health of Alaska's wolves, but of the very moose and caribou she sought to increase.

Palin would have the rest of Americans believe that this massive slaughter is acceptable, indeed necessary. She points to fifty years of statehood in which wolves have not become extinct. But the extent of the kill now far surpasses anything we've ever seen.

Even many Alaska hunters have grown outraged over Palin's out-of-control wolf control. Most recently, she's tried to give even more power to the Board of Game-the one that she appoints. This, wrote Alaska Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, would give her Board "more leeway without any scientific input to do whatever the hell they basically wanted." This program has been a true black eye for all hunters in Alaska, and for our state.
Contrary to what Palin would have Americans believe, only 14 percent of Alaskans hunt. Of those, a small percentage are true subsistence hunters. Palin wants wolves and bears scraped from the landscape so it's easier for urban hunters to get their kill in a weekend.

Don't let her fool you: Wasilla has just as many big-box and fast-food stores as any place in America, and just as many opportunities to make money to buy food. Alaskans haven't paid income tax for decades, and instead get over $1000 a year-for every man, woman, and child-in oil dividends. It's not economic necessity that drives the killing of wolves.

During Alaska's gubernatorial debates, Palin spoke with such passionate hatred about the need to kill wolves and bears that it sounded like we were thrown back into the dark ages of wildlife management, when bounties were paid for the feet of bald eagles, the fins of seals and sea lions, the skins of fox, coyote, wolf, and bear. Yes: bald eagles. They were blamed for eating too many salmon.

I was raised Catholic. I learned early on that if someone persecutes one group that's different from them, they also persecute others who are "different." It has taken the national media spotlight and her vicious statements on national stage to show Alaskans what we didn't know when Palin ran for Governor-to expose her disdain not only for non-human life, but also for those of different races, nationalities, and religions.

As a Catholic, I also learned that we have a responsibility to all living things. Not just human life, but all life. Which is, as we all now know, inextricably linked to all that we need in order to survive. Food, air, water, shelter. Safety. All that those wolf pups wanted from life. And all that was taken from them.

Comments

I was appalled by her nomination!! WHY would McCain pick her as his VP? He truly went after her for the 'women's vote' I for one will NOT vote for him! He sealed his fate - by picking Palin as his VP! She is a disgrace to any woman. She will set women back 50 yrs. Her hatred toward wolves is so obvious. To hunt & kill wolves from the air? WHO gave her the right to make this policy? I am sure most Alaskans would rather have wolves. They are BIG tourist draws! I will never understand why humans have to control & destroy wildlife & our beautiful Earth. God put it all here for us to enjoy, nurture, love and to respect it. As Gandhi said " THE GREATNESS OF A NATION AND ITS MORAL PROGRESS CAN BE JUDGED BY THE WAY ITS ANIMALS ARE TREATED"

This woman needs a therapist. Her values are all screwed up. She thinks killing animals is fine. She thinks that you should not have an abortion even if you have been raped or if your father, uncle or brother raped you. And her daughter is a product of her training. God help us if she becomes vice president.

I will not vote for the McCain/Palin ticket. Her acts against wolves show she has no compassion for living creatures. Besides this, she has a very poor record on global warming.

I raised two orphan wolves from when they were approximately 4-5 weeks old. No matter how many times I am reminded of human cruelty to each other and to all of nature's creatures, it still shocks me mentally and emotionally. Mark Twain was correct when he wrote that men are inferior to animals because we have lost out instincts and have not made up for it in wisdom.

Even without Sarah on the ticket, McCain wasn't getting my vote because of his "non-straight-talk" on every subject! But now it's a double whammy - Palin is a disgrace to mankind (?), and especially to women! It's hard to believe that the majority of Alaska residents share Palin's views, considering that they live in such a pristine paradise; one would think that they'd like to keep it that way, but it seems that the almighty dollar means more to them than the environment. I thought that it couldn't possibly get any worse than with the Bush/Cheney administration, but it could if American voters stay as dumb as they are and vote with their #@$^*& instead of their brains (?)!

I wouldnt vote for her for all the money in the world.She is one cruel person.Speaking of cruel,watch "Animal Witness"on aminal planet.Especially the one where the pit bull was shot by home evaders and the cops waited too long to get the poor creature help.Chief died on the operating table.The poor thing was shot twice and had a brokrn paw and aminal control had to walk it out with a stick.I already e-mailed them my comments.Animal cruelty breaks by heart and Sarah Palin makes me sick.

Sarah Palin - our next President? I shudder at that thought! Palin has pulled the lucky card...she's not a self-made woman, she climbed and clawed her way to mayor of a tiny town in which she earned a mere 900 something votes and over 100,000 votes or so in the gubernatorial race - hardly a landslide! In a corrupt state such as Alaska, it didn't exactly require subhuman powers to straighten them out a little bit. But, as we have all learned by now, Ms. Palin certainly had a penchant for forking in the pork, which she now very conveniently claims to be against! Life-long NRA member, hunter extraordinaire - eats mooseburgers, can kill, skin, dress, and serve a moose - what an accomplished woman! It's just what we need in the White House - NOT!

(Is there a working Email address for Gov. Palin?) To Gov. Sarah Palin We oppose the killing of bears, wolves, and other wildlife in Alaska, particularly the habituated grizzly bears in the Katami preserve. Our family and friends will not visit Alaska and will not be voting for the McCain-Palin ticket because of your support of trophy and aerial hunting and violence against other species with whom we share the Earth. In the future, your policies will surely be viewed with the same abhorrence as the practice of enslavement of other races or the subjugation of women. We feel Racism, Sexism and Specieism are not part of “God’s Plan”. They are grave transgressions against Creation stemming from human greed and ignorance. Sincerely, Lucy and Steven Wormser and family

This saddens me greatly. Since it looks like our wolf population is about to be deleted, are there any organizations out there who could relocate them to a safe environment before it's too late? [Blog editors' note: Alaska has the land for wolves and they should remain free. The question ahead is whether anyone's going to invite Palin to dictate policy on a national scale.]

Turning the eco system inside out to line her own tawdry pockets by developing Alaska as the Caribou hunting capital of the world AND blatantly mis-using her power in this heartless way is just the beginning,folks. The baby wolves were treated the way she, if ever allowed the power of the presidency, will treat anyone in her way.By eliminating them. She took way too much pride in the Soccer Mom/Pit Bull comparison. Didn't those who are going to vote for her get that?? This is one VERY scary woman and I truly believe if she makes it to the top, mountains will fall ...crushing all beneath them. Baby wolves and all of us who love them will continue to be seen as expendable, trust me. I, for one, would rather vote for the Pit Bull.

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