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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 With the permits withdrawn and the hunter-pilot teams grounded, the boycott on travel to Alaska was suspended.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

One - Predation control efforts are being conducted in areas of Alaska few, if any, tourists ever visit, for purposes of restoring prey base that has been depleted. Usually this is due to several harsh winters in a row, or ongoing plant succession without the benefit of big fires, plus the normal "wild" predation, which does not decrease lock-step with the prey base. Predators tend to expand their prey base among more available species (beaver, hares, etc), thus maintaining their own numbers in the face of declining large ungulate numbers. When these resources run out, we end up in a "predator pit" of large ungulates, where "maintained" predator numbers eat all or sometimes more of the "replacement rate" of the prey base. Predator numbers decline due to starvation only when they have totally decimated ALL prey populations, large and small, beyond their own maintenance efficiency of capture needs. Thus is the "balance of nature" restored. Eventually. In some instances it may take a century or more. Anyone who thinks such programs are primarily for the "sport" hunter, is wrong. The people living in the area need the meat. If there is a high enough prey base, then "sport" hunting is feasible. If "sport" hunting is feasible, then the prey base is sufficient to support even more wild predators than under depressed prey-base levels. Two - the FIRST measure taken in depressed prey bases is to reduce human hunting as far as practical - often to eliminate it before ANY other measures are taken - people can read regulations, which bears and wolves cannot - it's an easy first fix. Or course, the opposite end of the spectrum can also become apparent when predation (wild and/or human) isn't keeping up with a burgeoning prey species. In such case, habitat is over-exploited and destroyed for many years and many animals end up with a very slow, agonizing, ugly, starvation death lasting weeks or months, vs the relatively quick death from wild predator or bullet. Blog editors' note: Nice try, but it reads like uninformed babble. The slow-agonizing ugliness Larry recites applies to the rhetoric and motives of predator control flacks.

That is so cruel how could anyone harm such a magnificent animal? What do people have against wolves? We are the ones who moved in on their territory not the other way around. I wish I could do something about it. Someday I will. But by then it might be too late I mean I'm only 13. People need to start doing something about it before it's too late. Wolves are animals to just like us. U don't see them attacking us on their own free will. It's a proven fact that dogs kill more people yearly than wolves but they are'nt almost extinct. This just gets me so mad. If I ever see someone kill a wolf for no reason, I promise that I will just lose it.

I get mail and email from Alaska tour sites all time. EVERY time I respond that I will never travel to Alaska while they practice this barbaric "sport." I can never understand why people hunt, but to hunt from helicopters from which a wolf does not even have a chance to get away is just plain inhuman.

After reading the responses of the people for the hunt, instead of criticising them, maybe we should be helping them. Like, run a charity for them so they can get some food and clothes. Lets face it, if we ever saw somebody walking down the street wearing a wolf coat and chewing on a moose leg, we would lock them up and throw away the key. Put them on thorzine and let them live in happy land. It's hard to believe there are people up there still living like cavemen. Don't they have welfare or foodstamps so they can at least get some coats and food? There is no reason for any American having to live like this, I read only 14% of Alaskans support this hunt, they must make up the lower class base of alaska. And with some food, clothes and education they can learn to live like the rest of society and blend in. It's no fun being an outcast when it can be diverted. P.S. I work for an international co. that was planning our 2006 top employee trip to Alaska. I am friends with the V.P. of Human Res. and put the axe to the trip, which was at a cost of a couple million, the trip for these 700 employees is now europe. So don't tell me boycotts don't work. More people know about this hunt than you may think. And it will effect your state's economy. It's not how much you bring in, it's how much you could have made off the tourists.

Wait a minute. I have tried more than once to add a comment clarifying the source of a quote I tried to add above and it still not included, yet totally fallacies such as the post above Eric's is posted here? "it's hard to believe there are people up there still living like cavemen" They're called First Nations People and they have every right to their way of life. And if you are so uneducated about the region that you're pretending to be so knowlegable about, I suggest you do some research before attempting to denigrate them. And all the food stamps in the world won't feed people when there are no stores within any sort of reasonable distance -- do you know the first thing about how vast this state is at all? "...and with some food, clothes and education they can learn to live like the rest of society and blend in. It's no fun being an outcast when it can be diverted." What, relocate the Native communities? Maybe go round them up and force them to live like everyone else? As I've stated before, I am for your cause but I am thoroughly disgusted with some of the ignorance I have seen on this site. Your best resource to attaining your goal are the citizens of this state. Allowing this sort of absolute drivel to be posted here does NOTHING but alienate the people who's support you need the most. Blog editors' note: There is also a heap of abuse from the wolf-hunting crowd who posts here, and sometimes people make remarks about which they're not serious. Most of all, good ideas, not rage, should keep percolating. Alaskans can best work on abandoning the convoluted, mixed-up ideas used to justify predator control. Change public policy by getting politically involved.

Dave... * turn on your tv, and tell me how many people you see wearing bear sculls and fur. We don't all formulate our opinions by what is fed to us by the great tv. I have yet to see a fellow resident of this state wearing a bear skull. Within one square mile of LA in winter or New York City, there are more people wearing fur than the entire fur wearing population of this state. * try telling your state reps to bring in more industry,build the commercial and industrial base,create more jobs. Yes, and that would do expotentially more damage to the wildlife populations than the most aggressive aerial wolf hunts could ever do. Tourism itself negatively impacts the wildlife populations here. And if I pay more in taxes, I'm paying for my quality of life. But I think you'd be quite surprised if you understood just how many tourism dollars generated by * if these nations first people can fly planes, then they can fly to the store. It's First Nations people (maybe you only know them as Indians) ....and they aren't the ones participating in the aerial hunts. Like indigenous peoples the world over, they understand all to well the concepts and the importance of wildlife preservation. They eat meat, as your ancestors did before those of you in the lower 48 wiped out almost every last wild creature. And I find it highly ironic that you are advocating "industry and development" here with obviously no knowledge at all of what that would do to the very fragile ecosystem ... a single footprint in the tundra lasts for all time...if it weren't so sad I'd find it almost funny that you're trying to promote things such as industry and commerce that do way more to wipe out the wolf (and others) population than anything else ever could. And by the way, as far as people flying as much as 6 hours to the nearest Wal*Marts and Albertsons...when you figure out a way to fly through 100 mile winds, whiteouts, and other various extreme weather conditons, let me know. * i am not talking about big oil, who seem to come and go as they please Dave... we agree on the fact that the aerial wolf hunts are inhumane and unneccessary but your misconceptions about this state do more to hurt your cause than to help. No, Dave, big oil is here and may have come but they have never gone. Blog editors' note: The wolf control areas equal 132,000 square kilometers -- roughly the size of Alabama. There's no scientific or ethical justification for wolf control. As wolf biologist Gordon Haber has said, moose populations are not low in the wolf control areas, yet that claim is made by the State so that aerial wolf control appears justified, which, of course, it's not. Many residents in the Fortymile area (Unit 20E that's subject to wolf control) have vigorously opposed wolf control, and value wolves and bears as part of their Native culture. In short, there's no need to shoot wolves so that people are fed. That's complete rubbish.

in responce to martha h.,i read on this sight some one said they have a bumper sticker that says "WEAR WOLF EAT MOOSE".thats where the caveman quote came from, and i did not say relocate. do you see any other states creating an air force to control there wildlife.this is the image your state is projecting to the rest of us. even your governor thinks the state image needs help. remember the bridge to nowhere,what ever happened to that. and as far as the boycott not affecting you, your right, the money lost from the boycott can always be made up for with higher property and income taxes. then it does affect you. if these nations first people can fly planes, then they can fly to the store. instead of building airforces for the wolf and the bridge to no ware, try telling your state reps to bring in more industry,build the commercial and industrial base,create more jobs.and i am not talking about big oil,who seem to come and go as they please, and take what they want.believe me no one down here wants your fur or bear sculls,besides what possible use would someone need with a bear scull. and yet, you still disagree with the caveman quote. turn on your tv, and tell me how many people you see wearing bear sculls and fur.

The Native Americans' "right to their way of life" is threatened by corporate carpetbaggers, oil interests, and other *human* influences. It does not supersede the rights of animals. Regardless of whether the lower states should stay out of Alaskan affairs, despite the enormous tax contribution made to support Alaska every year, that is also a purely human issue. Self-determination does not supersede the rights of animals. It can seem a complex tangle at times, with many different people with many viewpoints wanting to explain the "extenuating circumstances," but none offer a scientific or ethical justification for the killing of a fellow creature. *There is nothing here that supersedes an animal's right to live.* Alexis Allen Friends of Animals

martha h.- THANKS, all i wanted to hear was you agree with me that the wolf hunt is inhumane and unneccesary. and really thats all that matters. i dont live up there,i probally will never visit or work there. my ideas may or may not help your state, but at least i am looking at a alternative. your right we have killed off most of our wild life, i saw 1 dead wolf on the turnpike once. your luckey to be able to see these animals in the wild. at least before they get there heads blown off. maybe thats why you have a tourist industry. since you live there and all avenues have been tried to prevent this kill. what will work to stop the kill that knowbody else has tried.i veiw the wolf just as i do my dogs,there the coolest animal to walk the earth. i even have two friends that have them as pets. of course this is not like seeing them in the wild.like i said i only saw one wolf an he was dead. we do have black bear and lots of deer,there all over my land,which is posted no hunting.even though my friends are forever bugging me to let them hunt on my properties,my rules stand at no. yes i hang around with people that hunt,just because our philosiphys are not the same ,doesn't mean we can't buy each other a beer when we get together and we always help each other out.well i hope you have the answer, since every other option has been tried. take care,dave.

Do you people really think you make a bit of since? get a job and quit worring about my back yard, and stare at the sun a little bit longer.I choose too eat animals rather then pet them ... God bless The right to harvest the land. [Blog editors' note: Tony, is it a matter of eating them or petting them that we're bringing up here? Did you see any comments saying we should make pets out of moose and caribou? This blog is most valuable when people engage in thoughtful discussion about the issues presented.]

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