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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

Jesus did NOT give us dominion over animals, humans are mammals and as such are animals....if anything there are a few that have dominion over us... On September 11, 2008, Grace Morales wrote: Oh my Lord, this is simply atrocious!! Jesus gave us dominion over the animal kingdom, to take care of it, not to be cruel and abuse them. ...

"A person that harms or kills an animal, CANNOT love or respect another human being", and this woman is going for the vice presidency? Something should be done about this! The human race is the only one that kills for "sport"; how cruel can that be??

I have 2 Wolf Hybrids this makes me sad after reading this i gave my dogs a hug. i promised that i would not let any one harm them. I love all animals and how could you kill GOD'S creation as a sport. she will not get my vote i hope that the people that have dogs like me would stand up. i wish that i could attach a pic to this blog

The only thing we can do is get out and VOTE,VOTE,VOTE!! GO OBAMA/BIDEN!! Obama has a good track record on animal-related bills. Tell everyone you know about Palin's Callousness toward animals. The Wilderness Society is running ads before and after debates and they say they are very effective.

I sincerely hope that Ms. Palin's christian god adequately rewards her for the murder of innocent animals. This woman is one of the scariest people I have ever heard speak. That she should be a candidate for the Vice Presidency of The United States is beyond imagination! Alaskans should be ashamed that she governs them. She is abominably vicious!!!

This is crazy! After watching the debate for VP I could tell she really studied hehehe, anyway getting to the facts of this. We all understand that we are living with all types of animals weather in our back yards, the skunk that pops his head in my trash can, or Rockey who runs across the neaighborhood. They are part of my neighbors unfortuantly animals that share the common road areas end up dieing, do to misfortunes. Hello you live in Alaska!!!! enjoy !! what others don't have, and learn to live with it instead of destroying... come on you don't use the tax payers' money for predator control unless Aliens land on earth and want take over.

Culture of life? Who's life? Hers? Vote against this devil in women's clothing. Recognize that John McCain sold his soul in the service of his personal ambition. VOTE AGAINST HER, VOTE AGAINST HER, VOTE AGAINST HER. IMPEACH HER AS GOVERNOR OF ALSASKA AND PUT HER IN JAIL WHERE SHE BELONGS.

I have been tormented as to who to vote for. This seals the deal. Democratic ticket all the way! Thanks.

sarah palin has no right to do what she is doing. what kind of ... cold-hearted person is she? im sure she would not like to experience the fear, pain and suffering she is the cause of. she is motivated by hate and money. maybe she IS the perfect person to be VP?? i feel personally cheated when a trophy hunter takes away, forever an animal that i will never get a chance to see. god gave these animals to all of us. what right does SHE have to ruin it? NONE! NO SARAH PALIN FOR VP OR ANY OFFICE!!

This is appalling. How can a woman who claims to so religious, who claims to be Christian, who claims to be "Pro-Life" be this violent towards living creatures? "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [b] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."" -Genesis 1:26

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