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Unimak Island [Alaska]: FoA's Public Comment on Aerial Wolf-Killing

January 29, 2011 | Wolves

Subject: NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE to Aerial Wolf-Killing on Unimak Island

On behalf of Friends of Animals' 200,000 members across North America, we offer our vigorous opposition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's environmental assessment (EA) regarding the State of Alaska's scheme to aerially assault wolves under the guise of protecting caribou on Unimak Island. No National Wildlife Refuge should permit such a predator control program, especially in a congressionally designated wilderness area.

The EA says that the main goal of wolf control is to keep a healthy population of caribou to make subsistence hunting more convenient; however, that's faulty logic. Brown bears also prey on caribou. Also, the community of 50 humans, residents in the fish-catching village False Pass on Unimak Island, have food other than Unimak Island's caribou to sustain their lives. When False Pass residents are inclined to hunt caribou, they've hunted them on the Alaska Peninsula, not on Unimak Island, so the predator control scheme for Unimak Island is illogical, scientifically flawed, and unjustified.

Friends of Animals objects to the general caribou hunt initiated in 2001on Unimak Island, yet the upshot of that slaughter is telling: Non-local Alaska residents along with non-resident hunters shot caribou -- the majority lead by two commercial hunting guides, who sadly are permitted to operate in the Refuge. These hunters likely shot bull caribou as trophies, so an analysis about the ratio of bulls to cows can't possibly be meaningful when hunters, not wolves (nor bears) are responsible for removing bull caribou in numbers significant enough to impact the reproductive potential of caribou.

Moreover, Unimak Island should be managed with integrity -- as a natural system -- so that this important wilderness area is protected for the interests of hundreds of caribou, wolves, bears and other animals already challenged by having to eke out a living there. When the quality of grasses declines on Unimak, the survival of caribou calves is impacted. The EA fails to address the issues of habitat quality or weather on the Refuge's caribou.

Icing makes it difficult for caribou to find lichens - their winter food, which threatens the survival of all caribou, including the health and birth weight of calves born in late May and June.

In closing, Friends of Animals favors a No Action Alternative wherein the Service would monitor caribou, but initiate no actions to shoot wolves, or radio collar calves.

Thank you.

Priscilla Feral
President
Friends of Animals

Comments

i cant believe there doing this again,i bet most alaskans are against this, dont they have any say up there, the state has no problem taking there tax dollars and giving it to these idiots to create a air force to kill wolfs, people up there should pick up there phone and ring the walls off at there elected officials and tell them to get there heads out of there butts and put an end to this stupid sport. why live up there if your just going to let a bunch of pinheads run around and kill all the wildlife.pity you cant find some legal loophole and sue the crap out of them, maybe some high profile attorney will decide to step up and take these idiots out for good, its getting ridiculous seeing this happening year after year. PEOPLE OF ALASKA, STAND UP TO THESE BONEHEADS,BEFORE THE ONLY WILDLIFE YOU SEE UP THERE IS STUFFED AND HANGING IN SOME BONEHEADS HOUSE.you can bet that the people who are doing this are very low educated and dont even know what a voting booth is, and dont even pay taxes.

THIS IS SO VERY SAD . I CAN NOT BELIEVE THE USA , HAS ALOWED SUCH A MEAN WAR LIKE ACTION AGAINST CREATURES CREATED BY GOD , AS GIFTS TO HUMANS ,. LET THE CONSCIENCE OF THE SHOOTERS TORMENT THIER MINDS FOR DOING THIS TERRIBLE ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST NATURE

IT IS SAD THAT IN THE USA THAT SUCH VIOLENCE AGAINST NATURE IS ALLOWED TO TAKE PLACE. THESE ANIMALS ARE GODS GIFTS TO MAN , AND ARE BEING KILLED AS IF THEY WERE AT WAR AGAINST US . I AM SO ASHAMED OF THE FACT THAT ELECTED OFFICIAL CONDONE SUCH ACTIONS AND HAVE TO SAY AT LEAST IN WAR BOTH SIDES CAN DEFEND THEMSELVES WITH EQUAL WEAPONS . MAY THE CONSCIENCES OF THESE KILLERS TORMENT THERE MINDS FOR THEIR TERRIBLE ACTIONS AGAINST ANIMALS.

So disgusting how deeply entrenched our culture is in hunting, and how powerful their lobbying efforts are---despite the fact that most people don't even hunt! Given the chance, most people would actually want simply to observe a wolf (or a caribou), free in nature. Thanks for these deeply-needed public comments. Dustin

Ghandi said: YOU CAN JUDGE A SOCIETY BY THE WAY IT TREATS ITS ANIMALS. THIS IDEA THAT WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO KILL OR ABUSE ANIMALS FOR OUR WANTS OR PURPOSES JUST DOESNT WORK ANYMORE JUST LIKE GUNS, GEORGE BUSH, SARAH PALIN AND THE HORRIBLE WAY WE TREATED OUR FIRST RESPONDERS AND THE MONIES THEY WERE AWARDED [11 billion that turned out to be 4.3 billion]. As humans we should be ashamed of what we do to our beautiful animls and the world in which we take up space. M.J. Newman -Perskin

PLEASE do not carry out this horrible, so-called aerial wolf hunt. It is not necessary, and will be a black mark on your State should you carry it out.

I think it stinks and that they just don't get it!!! Here's my mantra....EVERY SPECIES ON THE EARTH IS PART OF OUR LIFE CYCLE. WITHOUT BIODIVERSITY WE ARE ALSO DOOMED TO EXTINCTION. When I saw my first wolf up close and personal, he looked into my eyes, and I know he could see into my soul.

A national wildlife refuge should not permit hunting of any kind. Allowing aerial hunting of wolves is not only disruptive to natural systems, but cruel and unfair to the wolves. Using protection of caribou as a reason for doing this is simply wrong. This is a wilderness area, if there needs to be population control on this island because it has become out of natural balance there are other ways to do so. Please do not allow this anywhere, yet alone in a Wilderness area created by Congress.

As an outsider, I get the impression that a large number of Americans, must have a fear of wolves or their thinking is so distorted that they feel they have to kill them. Aerial hunting is so despicable! These hunters should imagine what it would be like if they were chased until completely exhausted, and then shot. As for the authorities allowing hunters into a National Wildlife Refuge, what sort of mentality do they possess!

Wolves are being managed right into extinction.

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