Defenders of Wildlife – 2009-03-28 09:23:29
Palin Administration Calls in the
Helicopters for Sweeping Wolf Massacre
Defenders of Wildlife
WASHINGTON — In Alaska, the Palin administration considerably escalated its aerial wolf killing spree this past weekend, with full details only becoming clear in the hours after the killing initiated. At least 58 wolves have been killed in the Upper Yukon/Tanana area of Alaska over the past 4 days by Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) staff, which indicates that their target of approximately 250 wolves will be easily met.
The key ingredient is the decision by the governor and her appointed Alaska Board of Game to use helicopters as part of the state’s wolf killing program in this region. The Board of Game approved the use of agency helicopters and personnel at its most recent meeting, which ended March 9, 2009, but those new regulations are not yet in effect, making the current helicopter wolf killing program in the Upper Yukon/Tanana region illegal.
It is on these grounds that the board now faces a law suit, filed today by Defenders of Wildlife calling for an immediate injunction on the aerial wolf killing occurring in this area.
“While the media obsesses over Governor Palin’s private family life, she is getting away with illegally slaughtering large numbers of wolves from the air,” commented Defenders Action Fund president, Rodger Schlickeisen. “The governor is even encouraging the killing of wolves that reside and den mostly on federal land, which belongs to all of us, not just Alaskans. There is no biological emergency in Alaska that warrants such measures.”
The ADF&G gave the National Park Service just a few hours notice before the killing began and as of Tuesday morning, at least 58 wolves were already known to have been killed, in addition to at least 27 that had already been killed by private hunters.
According to the National Park Service’s March 15 briefing statement (attached), if ADF&G is successful in reaching its goal, “this would leave one-to-two wolves per 1,000 square kilometers in the Upper Yukon Wolf Control Area, approximating the lowest known wolf population densities in Alaska.”
Upon learning of the state’s plans, the Service requested a no-wolf kill buffer zone around the preserve, but the state refused, putting at risk many of the members of seven wolf packs that reside mostly within the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, many of which are part of an ongoing wolf study conducted by the park, at federal taxpayer expense.
“The Palin administration has created the least scientific Board of Game in the state’s history and this board will stop at nothing to reach its arbitrary and overblown goals for moose and caribou populations. They don’t even play by their own rules!” continued Schlickeisen. “Removing such huge numbers of predators from a region will do untold damage to all the wildlife that depends on that habitat. Governor Palin is recklessly pursuing policies that could turn America’s last frontier into nothing more than a large game farm.”
During the recent spring Board of Game meeting, the board also approved a proposal to allow to the use of gas bombs to kill wolves and wolf pups in their dens. The consistently unanimous votes for unprecedented and increasingly extreme methods of killing wolves have caused many to question the make up of the board and the magnitude of their vendetta against wolves.
Each of the seven members have been appointed or re-appointed by Governor Palin, who has consistently chosen her appointees from the hunting lobby, excluding all other interests from the board.
The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund (www.defendersactionfund.org) provides a powerful voice in Washington to Americans who value our conservation heritage. Through grassroots lobbying, issue advocacy and political campaigns, the Action Fund champions those laws and lawmakers that protect wildlife and wild places while working against those that do them harm.
William Lutz (202) 772-0269
Jessica Brand (202) 772-0239
Palin Escalates Bloody War on Wolves
In just five days, Governor Sarah Palin’s Administration slaughtered at least 84 wolves near the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve using helicopters, spotter planes and high-powered guns. And with denning season beginning soon, defenseless wolf pups and their families will soon face death from deadly snares and poison gas in and around their dens.
More than 3,000 compassionate wildlife supporters have contributed in the last few days to stop Palin and save the lives of wolves. We are so close to meeting our goal. Will you help? Please read the message below and consider making an emergency donation of whatever you can to help us stop Palin’s war on wolves and save the lives of these magnificent creatures.
Palin Escalates Bloody War on Wolves
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s cruel aerial slaughter has suddenly escalated. Last week, Palin’s henchmen killed 66 84 wolves, using helicopters, spotter planes and aerial gunners. To make matters even worse, Palin’s Board of Game has approved the use of poison gas and deadly snares to kill defenseless wolf pups and their families in and around their dens.
Wolves are being slaughtered in record numbers. Please make an emergency donation to help us stop Palin’s killing frenzy and shine the national spotlight on her brutal massacre.
To stop the killing, we…
• Supported emergency legal efforts in state court to halt or delay the helicopter assault on wolves near the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, near the area made famous by the 1890s Alaska Gold Rush. Ironically, the state ended its effort just one day later.
• Are working on Capitol Hill with our champion Congressman George Miller of California to win cosponsors for the Protect America’s Wildlife (PAW) Act to end Palin’s barbaric aerial killing and prevent programs like it from spreading to other states; and
• Are raising public awareness in the media to Palin’s horrible wolf-killing programs in newspapers, on radio and television across the country.
In just a few weeks, Governor Palin is scheduled to appear in Indianapolis. With your emergency help, we can run this ad and ensure that citizens in Indiana and the national media covering her appearance learn the terrible truth of what Palin and her killing thugs have been up to over the last few weeks.