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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

To think of putting anyone who has such a disregard for life, yet calls themselves "PRO-LIFE", whether male or female, in such a powerful position either as Governor of Alaska or Vice-President of the United States is unfathomable. I would NEVER vote for anyone who would sanction or commit such vile crimes against nature. And I certainly wouldn't vote for the person who views their acts of vicious disregard for life as an appropriate person for a leadership position of ANY kind. The world is a harsh enough place without people like Sarah Palin, et al, who think that only human life is worth preserving.

she is a total *****...she wants obama to say sorry for the pig comment but she does thi!s! That was just a comment what she is doing is brutal killings.. she can't say "i'm sorry" for this act...

She is despicable!

This article needs to get into the spotlight for "everyone" to read, NOT just the members of FoA; it is a strong article to show Sarah Palin's true character. We are in grave danger if the McCain/Palin ticket wins this country's election. I am disgusted by her actions and opinions; she is a hypocrite, racist, and bigoted against people who don't think exactly like her. The race is closing in with the McCain ticket in the lead; it is frightening to think that she could be part of the leadership of our country. She is simply a heartless murderer. Her true colors show in the pictures of her standing over the elk she murdered. PLEASE get this article into the MAJOR news media. Thanks!

I agree with others that this need to be broadcast nationwide through the media. Sarah Palin has no right to put a $150 bounty on wolves to encourage locals to bring in wolf legs, it's just plain sick, Hunting down wolves from planes and then killing a den of pups is Animal Cruelty. She is out of her mind, trying to suggest that wolves are taking moose away from hunters, Wolves scavange the already sick and dying population of Moose they do not take down healthy adult males or females. The rodent population shares in eating the same willow plants as Moose, and may be contributing to smaller numbers of adult moose. The senseless killing of wolves make no sense at all, What will she do when the rodent population gets out of control?? Native Alaskians don't agree with her Wolf killing either and have voted against it several times.

I also wanted to add, that the Alaska Law states that orphan animals must be offered to rehabilitaion centers or zoo's before being euthanized, which is supposed to be a last resort. That was not the case with the 14 wolf pups that were dragged out of their dens and shot, after their entire pack was killed by air. Sarah Palin needs to be out of office as Govenor and not permitted to serve as VP. Her motives are selfish and self serving, all she cares about is making money on Oil and Gas Lines, she doesn't care one bit about our wildlife or the enviornment, Alaska will be a wasteland by the time she gets done if we don't stand up together and stop her !!!!!!

I just read the article about what Palin ordered. That is totally uncalled for. How cruel can she be !!! If she can be so heartless to MURDER those animals imagine what she will do with us !! Animals have just as much right to live here as we do. OMG I'm so mad right now at her I could spit nails. That #$%^&* !@#$ !!If she becomes vice president GOD HELP US ALL !!! Those poor wolves, SHAME, SHAME ON HER !!!

People who have no regard for animal suffering shouldn't not be in public office. I believe in God and I recall He made the animals before he made man.

me again - I did not see the entire article before my last comment - you have covered most of the story. I retract that statement. :-)

The more I learn about her, the more my aversion against her grows. She's really the prototype of the christian fundamentalist who only cares about humans. She obviously thinks humans are the only sacred creatures and her supposed God created the others only for our hunting and fishing pleasure ... What a stupid retarded mentality ! And that in the 21st century ! Poor imbecile !

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