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Friends of Animals: BOYCOTT IS BACK

February 15, 2006 | Alaska Boycott / Wolves

Darien, Conn -- Friends of Animals just renewed a call to the public to avoid Alaska this travel season.

The recharged boycott follows a ruling by the Superior Court of Alaska that the state's aerial wolf-shooting scheme is invalid. Rather than stop the gunning, the state's Board of Game hastily made up new rules and started offering permits again.

Supporters worldwide can endorse the Alaska tourism boycott by joining the "I'd Rather Be Here Than in Alaska" campaign. Photographs of boycott supporters holding signs reading "Boycott Alaska," "I'd Rather Be Here Than in Alaska," and similar statements will be featured on the webpage www.boycott-alaska.org (to be activated on 17 February 2006).

The idea, brought to the Friends of Animals' blog by Francis Murray of Juneau, Alaska, follows a lawsuit brought by Friends of Animals and individual plaintiffs which temporarily halted Alaska wolf control in January.

On the 17th of January, the airborne hunting permits were recalled following the Superior Court ruling that the Board of Game failed to follow its own regulations. With the permits withdrawn and the hunter-pilot teams grounded, the boycott on travel to Alaska was suspended.

Needless to say, the Board did not appreciate being told "No." On the 29th of January, the Board called an "emergency" meeting. In addition to repealing all requirements and limitations that apply generally to wolf control -- the basis for the Court ruling that the aerial wolf control scheme was invalid -- the Board also barred related public notice and input.

One-hundred fifty-seven gunners and pilots may now get back in the air, chase wolves to exhaustion, and then shoot them. Having already killed nearly 450 wolves under the airborne hunting permits since 2003, Alaska officials want 400 more dead this season.

Friends of Animals' new webpage will unveil the highs and lows where folks would rather be than in Alaska. Pictures are arriving from individuals and groups near iconic landmarks and destinations, lines at local banks and post offices, and packed subway cars.

"I'd Rather Be Here Than in Alaska" pictures can be submitted electronically on the web site.

Or submit photos by mail to:

Friends of Animals
777 Post Road
Darien, CT U.S. 06820

Comments

Mike, The hypocrisy you are committing is the expression of interest in the welfare of the moose or caribou only when humans are not the ones eating them. Friends of Animals is not being hypocritical as it does not elevate the status of any animal over another, in fact it recognizes their equality of status -- that of sentient beings -- and recognizes the one right they need the most, the right to be left alone. Bob Orabona Friends of Animals

Mike, I could handle seeing a wolf eat a moose. It's called NATURE! It's the photos of bloated hunters with stupid smirks on their faces standing next to planes holding up dead wolves -that's what I don't want to see!

For so many years it was my dream to travel and perhaps even move to Alaska as it is one of the most beautiful places I've ever known of.The wildlife alone has been a draw to me as I love animals and nature so much.Now there is no doubt in my mind that I'll never visit Alaska let alone move there simply due to the cruelty of (hu mans) where the wildlife is concerned.Animals kill to survive and feed their young,humans kill for some warped pleasure.Given that thought,which of the species is really the (animal). In my world,its not the ones with fur and claws....

well Norma Goodrich , I bet you still have a resv. at one of the hotel near Denali Park, are you just saying that to be friends with FoA, that what most of these people do, they say they are boycotting but still come to Alaska anyway, Alaska still has the tallest mountain in North America, still lots of wolves runing around, but we won't tell FoA that you came to Alaska let them think that you are boycotting us are little seceret!!!!!! shhhhhhhhhhh

*Is there an estimate of how many are left in Alaska?* There are three known wolf packs in my immediate area...in Alaska--and I'm talking a ten mile radius. They are left alone; we are hardly taking to the skies and gunning them down to the extent that they are barely...here...or to any extent whatosever in my neighborhood. I am not FOR aerial wolf hunting but I AM against people from the lower 48 who know less than nothing about this state attempting to dictate policy here while armed with misinformation. There are much more productive ways to get your point across than this. and boycott all you want--the BIG bear skull industry hear may certainly suffer when y'all don't buy 'em anymore. [Blog editors' note: The wolves don't belong to the state of Alaska, and it's the Murkowski administration and the Board of Game dictating public policy. The rest of us will continue to intervene, along with the majority of Alaskans who have repeatedly opposed state-sponsored predator control schemes, and are fed up with the shenanigans of bureaucrats and others wedded to wolf and bear persecution. Several of us here have seen more of Alaksa than the small, angry mob who never seem to tire of offering platitudes to defend a national disgrace. ]

When It's Summer In Alaska, I'll Be Going The Other Way Tourism is Alaska's second largest industry -- generating $2 billion a year, yet most of the money goes to the big Outside tour companies, and doesn't circulate through the Alaska economy. To assess the local economic impact of next summer's tourism, the tour company monies have to be factored out, but the Chamber of Commerce doesn't do that. Tourism operators also don't report the monies spent on advertising and marketing to boost tourism back to pre-September 11, 2001 numbers. We do know from an Associate Press article this month that Gov. Frank Murkowski is pressing the state to "hire a public relations firm to change the perception of Alaska and its people as greedy for federal dollars and all too willing to plunder the environment for profit." Imagine that. Wolf hunters quip, "Mind your own business," yet it's the business of how the rest of the nation sees Alaska that troubles Murkowski. To assist the image makeover, FoA recommends a policy change, starting with the cancellation of Alaska's loathsome aerial wolf gunning program. Meanwhile, we'll be singing, "When it's summer in Alaska, I'll be going the other way." Priscilla Feral Friends of Animals

So how is this tourism boycott supposed to help your cause? You say, on one hand, that most Alaskans oppose aerial wolf hunting, and you may be right. But provided your boycott ever got enough momentum to adversely affect the average citizen of the state, you'd run a great risk of alienating what could be your most important ally. And the great majority of the people who are employed in the tourism industry here aren't even registered to vote in this state. [ Bllog editors' note: Gov. Hickel called for wolf control in 1992, FoA countered with a vigorous tourism boycott, which prompted Hickel to call the whole thing off. Hickel was more sensitive to public opinion., obviously. A tourism boycott puts the economic screws to an administration that has all ready admitted that the state suffers from a bad image. If citizens of Alaska aren't registered to vote, it's time to become politically astute.]

***If citizens of Alaska aren?t registered to vote, it?s time to become politically astute.*** I didn't say citizens of Alaska. I said, "people employed in the tourism industry in this state". The majority of the people employed in the tourism industry in Alaska are residents of other states and other countries, and from what I've seen of them, they are a fairly politically astute bunch, particularly the rightists who are recruited out of the Southern US. It's probably a good thing for us that they can't vote here. And the majority of tourism dollars never see the local economies. While I agree that Murkowski does more than his share to promote an unbecoming image of this place, I think that working with the actual residents here would produce more positive results than your current tactics, because it makes no difference to me and to most of us if we lose a few tourists. And I think that if you look into the situation in 1992 a little more deeply, you'll find that there were factors involved other that FOA's proposed tourism boycott. [ Blog editors' note: Governor Hickel cancelled wolf control because of the public uproar that followed the tourism boycott. Those are the facts. Many residents of Alaska are challenging the wolf control program through a variety of interventions. You should, too.]

And again, while trying to make clear that I personally don't condone the wolf hunts, I have to wonder about a couple of things. It's my understanding that the moose and caribou populations involved here are those that the indigenous people depend on for their food supply--I don't think we're talking about areas heavy in sport hunting. People who live in these areas don't exactly have access to Albertson's and don't have many options. What are your feelings on wolf relocations? Blog editors' note: Hope you'll read the articles about wolves on our Web page, and reports from Gordon Haber whose wolf research in Alaska we support. It will answer some of your concerns. There's no need to relocate wolves. They should be left alone.

I've seen his work before; he does have some interesting things to say... Now--as far as tourism. You're not dealing with tourism as it was in the 90's--it has vastly changed. Those of you opting out of cruises to AK will find a variety of reasons to do so even when aerial wolf hunting ends, as it probably will when the Murkowski clan in no longer with us. But for now, take a look at the parent companies of the cruise liners. Blog editors' note: Marta provided a quote, presumably from Dr. Gordon Haber, but since it wasn't sourced, we haven't included it for the moment.

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