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Oh, please, News-Miner: Get it right

February 23, 2005 | Wolves

*Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Fairbanks, Alaska*
Monday, February 21, 2005 - The Daily News-Miner's Feb. 3 editorial, "Oh, please, Priscilla" argues that Friends of Animals' protests against wolf control are futile and, "It's taken a couple of months to get just 5,000 signatures on pledges to support a tourism boycott of Alaska." Wrong.

In a leap of logic, the editorial surmised, "Friends of Animals has faired so poorly in trying to rally the public to its cause it has turned to the courts instead." Wrong again. Methinks the News-Miner has an attitudinal ax to grind that overrides facts.

A Feb. 10, 2005, telecast from Anchorage-based KTUU accurately reported, "The governor's office says it has received hundreds of thousands of mostly negative comments" on the aerial wolf control program. KTUU's reporter (who once hailed from Fairbanks) interviewed a University of Alaska wildlife conservation scientist, Rick Steiner, who explained, "There would have been more tourists coming here had the boycott not been in place, likely." Professor Steiner added that other boycotts of Alaska products are being considered.

As a New York Times editorial noted a year ago, and to which FoA agrees ( Wolf 'Control' in Alaska; Sun., March 14, 2004), "There's nothing sporting about deploying an air force to hunt animals."

Since December 2003, when the state of Alaska started allowing hunter-pilot teams to shoot wolves, more than 200 "Howl-Ins" have been organized across North America and in Germany, Japan and Great Britain. At these events, members of the public can join in the activism and sign individual postcards to Alaska's governor.

On Nov. 4, 2003, The Alaska Board of Game and Department of Fish and Game moved to reinstitute aircraft-assisted killing as a method of suppressing wolf populations at artificially low numbers to appease moose hunters, and affluent hunter-pilots who have won Gov. Murkowski's ear. Less than three weeks later, and before a tourism boycott was announced, Friends of Animals and seven Alaska plaintiffs sued the state of Alaska to halt wolf control on the grounds that it's illegal. Our case is scheduled for trial in May.

On Feb. 1, 2005, FoA introduced the first Virtual Howl-In that enables wolf supporters to enter their names and addresses into an online form on the FoA Web site. FoA will then mail a physical postcard to Alaska's governor on behalf of each signatory.

Friends of Animals believes the world community should have something to say about the treatment of wolves and the type of governance that shames not only Alaska but our country as a whole. Free-living wolves don't belong to a certain state, hunter, or tight-knit group of politicians who contrive and inflate numbers--setting population and hunting goals as high as they please--so that statutory limits on wolf control, to make moose hunting easier, are meaningless.

The systematic violence that passes as wolf control is not an abstraction, out of sight or mind. The shooting deaths shatter and destroy real families, many of which are exploited by radio collars, and, as a result, made vulnerable to people whose aerial killings The New York Times editorial decried as "the savagery of humans."

Priscilla Feral is president Friends of Animals, based in Darien, Conn.

Comments

Yes, we are killing families, just like we killed the families of the native americans because we didn't want to share with them, either!

I want it to stop. I also want to know the postage cost.

Friends of Animals is mailing all of the postcards that people complete electronically. If we send postcards for individuals to mail in, your cost will be 23 cents to mail the postcard to Alaska's governor. Priscilla Feral Friends of Animals

According to statistics published by the state of Alaska, the weakening of the dollar against European and Asian currencies has attracted U.S. tourism, and the state has benefited. That factor is obviously unrelated to the current wolf decimation and our response. Those who, as a matter of morality, withheld their support for Alaska's tourism industry are not susceptible to the ups and downs of the market. We continue to educate people worldwide about Alaska's destructive conduct, and our commitment to Alaska's living beings is not subject to the unexpected turns of the marketplace. That our work is aligned with the views of a great many Alaskans is acknowledged by many of our supportive visitors. A sincere thanks to all of you who are working for a more peaceful, generous humanity. Lee Hall,
Friends of Animals.

I have just found youre web site and wish that I had found it earlier I as a life long Alaskan have witness the slaughter of the wolves first hand. I watched the desimation of the heards of bison on the Palmer Hay Flats, there have been no bison left in that area, and now the wolf population is shrinking due to starvation and the wage of war the state of alaska has declared on this poor defenceless creature. Despite the fact that I live in Alaska, I am all for the boycot, what ever it takes to get Alaska to realize what they are doing to this creature, it is only a matter of time before preasures of being hunted and starvation pushes them into our back yards looking for food. Next thing you know they will be eating Fluffy and people will be shooting the wolves, when all they are doing is a natural thing, eating to survive. Thank you for your web site because truely Alaska needs outside help, outside souces to tell the rest of Alaska how to manage our state, because voices speaking for the wolf up here are so few. Voices needed to speak up against the millions of wolf haters. Keep up the good work and hopefully after Alaska realizes the impact the boycot has done to the econmomy, they will see that hurting wolves is not worth hurting the economy. And then some day, over time the population will build up again, and the sound of the wolf howling will fill the air of Alaska again, not an armada of airplanes raining down bullets. Thank you again. Corey Taylor Wasilla, AK

As an Alaskan and an avid hunter, as well as a lover of all animals, some of your true agendas sadden and sicken me. You who have no intentions of ever coming up here unless to lobby politicians, you who have allready anihilated your own animal populations in the lower 48, have the sheer audacity to try and dictate to us that we have it all wrong. I am a 3rd generation Alaskan, personally i wont shoot predators unless i or my kin are threatened(the meat tastes awful) but i also have no qualms and completely understand that at times it is essential for the balance of an area, sometimes the number of predators are greater than a given area can sustain. When this happens they turn to easier prey...aka small children, pets, etc. Please stop misinforming the public just to earn a few more dollars in donations. And people PLEASE stop being such bleeding hearted sheep. [Blog editors' note: It is indeed tragic the way so many animals have been wiped out of their habitat south of Alaska. Yet that hardly justifies repeating the mistake in Alaska. Was the New York Times trying to earn a few more dollars in donations when it reported that Alaska is "deploying an air force" to hunt wolves?]

An air force? Besides Cuba or some other small countries where does a half dozen 2 seater bush planes qualify as an "air force"? Also, please jog my memory, wasn't it the New York Times that got slapped on the wrist for some of it's writers not verifying facts before publishing such nonsense? I can't be certain since being in Alaska, and the New York Times having no information relevent to or reporters with a clue ever visiting my state, I dont care to read stock quotes or liberal whining. Besides, with newspapers its not called a donation, its called a sale since you have no choice about payment if you care to read it. Furthermore, there are enough hunters, fisherman and geniunely concerned and responsible RESIDENTS of this beautiful state to keep it's wildlife populations at healthy levels without the politically motivated intervention of the federal government. People, tourists come up here to view and to hunt wildlife. It is in our state's best interest to continue to manage our resources to preserve one of our biggest industries. We are not going to overhunt or put it at risk, we have too many checks in place. Please look up the hunting statistics at Alaskas Dept of Fish and Game BEFORE you throw your money at some whine in, oops, I mean, howl in. Gabriel Ives, Chugiak, Alaska

In response to Gabriel's thoughts about the monopoly he envisions for hunters, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (issued June 2002) shows 221,000 state residents are wildlife-watchers as compared to 93,000 resident hunters. The Survey also shows there's a growing market for wildlife-watching. 292,000 nonresidential wildlife-watching participants travel to Alaska, not to shoot, but to view free-living animals, out of interest and respect for animals who help keep the earth alive. Alaska's residents don't speak in a single voice. While a cadre of hunters attempt to outshout their opponents, and continue to dominate politics in Alaska, they comprise a minority voice. Hunter-pilot teams who have permits to shoot wolves from aircraft are the voice of affluence. Their Draconian activities bring shame to Alaska and our country as a whole. Priscilla Feral Friends of Animals

The kill mania that has permeated Alaska is the fault of Gov. Murkowski. He has appointed an unblanced Board of Game who are also kill oriented. The wolves leaving the Park should be protected with a buffer as they have little fear of humans due to the protective nature of a Federal Park. The Fish and Game Dept. states that they do not manage single animals but this is an exception. They often make exceptions for other situations so why not for the Park wolves in this case? From my lofty position of old age, I now think it is wrong to kill any animal. I did not always think that way but one learns as one goes along. That's a face-saving way of saying I was ignorant as are most of today's killers who cover their activity with statements associated with the desire to maintain a tradition. What a bunch of garbage.

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