Los Angeles, California — On Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, February 29th, local wolf advocates will spread the word that a boycott of Alaska’s $2 billion-a-year tourism industry is the only way to bring policy changes to stop the machine-gunning of wolves. Alaskans have twice opposed aircraft-assisted, land-and-shoot wolf gunning (in 1996 and 2000 voter referenda); yet the governor signed a bill last June overturning the most recent ban.
On Saturday, February 28th, protesters will gather on the Pier in Santa Monica from 10am-4pm. Volunteers will hand out educational information and ask passers-by to sign cards and pledge not to travel to Alaska until the aerial wolf-killing plan is called off.
On Sunday, February 29th, protesters will gather from 10am-4pm at LAX at Terminal 2, the arrivals area for Alaska Airlines. These protests are part of a series of nationwide events that began just eight weeks ago, marking the 86th and 87th Howl-Ins; future plans bring that number to 117.
Alaska’s Governor Murkowski refuses to listen to the legal, scientific and ethical arguments opposing this draconian program, and since Jan. 21, 2004, 68 wolves have been shot from aircraft in the Nelchina basin, one of two areas where aerial wolf-shooting is encouraged to eliminate wolves. Now the Alaska Board of Game is considering opening 5 or 6 other areas to aerial wolf and bear “control,” a scheme designed to appease a minority of moose and caribou hunters.
In response, FoA has initiated a tourism boycott and facilitated a broad-based intervention by supporting groups from all over the U.S. and the world, including retirees, Native Americans, schoolchildren and people who run wolf sanctuaries. All have pledged to boycott Alaska tourism via postcards, letters, faxes, and phone calls to Gov. Murkowski’s office.
Priscilla Feral, president of FoA, says, “70,000 Boycott Alaska postcards are headed to Gov. Murkowski to protest the wolf-killing plan, which involves hunter-pilot teams shooting wolves from planes or chasing the wolves to exhaustion from the air, then landing and shooting them. This harassment of free-living animals is a national disgrace.”