28 Sep 2008, 11:04am
Bears Homo sapiens Wolves
by admin

Palin On Alaskan Wildlife Management and Predator Control

A year ago CA Congressman George Miller (D, Vacaville) introduced a bill to ban wildlife management in Alaska. It was a publicity stunt, and Miller’s ill-conceived bill never went anywhere. But it did anger the citizens and Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.

Governor Palin responded to Miller’s political posturing stunt with a well-written letter, dated Sept. 27, 2007, that explains the importance of wildlife management to Alaskans. The entire letter is [here].

Some excerpts:

On behalf of the state of Alaska, I am writing to express my displeasure with you introduction of a bill that proposes to end what you refer to as “airborne hunting” of wolves and bears in Alaska. You have misconstrued the reality of life in Alaska and the importance of wild game management as food to the people of this state. You displayed a shocking lack of understanding of wildlife management in the North and the true structure and function of Alaska’s predator control programs. You have threatened the very foundations of federalism and the state’s abilities to manage their own affairs as they see fit.

I am dismayed that you did not attempt to contact the state your bill affects most directly before announcing your legislation. At the very least, we could have helped you correct the many inaccuracies and misstatements of fact in both the written and the oral portions of your media presentation yesterday. …

Federal powers to regulate wildlife are limited and seldom result in broad, area-wide effective management strategies, but Alaska’s fish and game management programs have been widely recognized for their excellence and effectiveness. Alaska, alone among the states, has managed its wildlife so that we still maintain abundant populations of all of our indigenous predators almost fifty years after statehood. Your proposal to limit this effective management… is an unworkable and unwarranted interference…

Alaska’s predator control program is mandated by the Alaska State Legislature, regulated by the independent Alaska Board of Game, and implemented by the world-renowned scientists at our Alaska Department of Fish and game. Our state constitution requires wildlife to be managed on the sustained yield principle, subject to preferences among beneficial uses. When game populations or harvest goals are not met, Alaska’s intensive management law mandates action, including habitat improvement and/or predator control.

Our state biologists use radio tracking, visual surveys, and numerous other scientifically proven methods to assess the health of wildlife populations. Often, predators keep prey populations lower than the area habitat could support. In most states. wildlife populations are limited primarily by habitat; in many parts of Alaska, however, moose and caribou are prevented from reaching abundant levels by heavy predation. Wolves and bears are powerful and effective predators; these predators kill far more moose and caribou than do humans hunting for food.

Our science-based program is designed to reduce the effect of predators in given areas with the intent to allow a higher harvest of moose and caribou by humans for food. By thinning the numbers of predators in selected areas, we are enabling more Alaskans to hunt moose and caribou and put food in their freezers. each program is specifically designed, carefully considered, and closely monitored. We do not undertake predator control lightly. …

With due respect, Congressman Miller, you failed to do your homework. I urge you to learn more about the realities of Alaska’s predator control program, and not to swallow the rhetoric of special interest advocacy groups trying to raise money for their inaccurate campaigns. In addition, I invite you to come to Alaska and see for yourself how we manage our wildlife, and meet some of the hardworking Alaskans who rely on our predator management programs to give them access to the food they need.


Sarah Palin, Governor

7 Feb 2009, 9:03pm
by Michael Heath

While Governor Palin’s well thought out and well worded letter can be convincing, this is a obvious opinion of a hunter. Out-of-state hunters are allowed to harvest Alaskan carbou and moose for food but also for trophies, so that in itself is an interference. It’s interesting to note Alaska has an overpopulated abundance of caribou/moose (one million/175-200,000). Wolves are misunderstood and have lived alongside moose and caribou for countless years yet have never elminated them into extinction. Alaska’s own wildlife management program is quite unsound, unscientific, and doctored to favor the interests of hunters. Wolves are mismanaged and have been historically and inaccurately blamed for killing large amounts of prey. Aerial Gunning is against federal law yet it still occurs; The “Land and Shoot” method is simply horrific and a invented loophole to the 1972 Endangered Species Act. The barbarism and continued false accustations by Governor Sarah Palin is disturbing. Society will become more aware that Alaska was the wolves home first, but Ms. Palin is misleading the American public about wildlife. It is in a hunters nature to want to kill for sport and advocate to continue eradicating an animal that deserves to be left alone, the wolf.

-Michael Heath
Strong wildlife supporter

7 Feb 2009, 9:44pm
by Mike

Please read the opinion of Dr. Matthew Cronin, one of the premier wildlife biologists in the world today [here].

Human beings have been living in Alaska for 15,000 years at least. The “wolves were here first” argument is specious in that context. Humans may pre-date the Canadian wolf, a recent species that became numerous following the demise of other large predators at the end of the last (the Wisconsin) glaciation. In fact, humans may pre-date the moose in Alaska, too. Both came over the Bering land bridge from Asia.

Nothing good can come from abandoning our responsibilities to steward nature. “Natural balance” is a myth that is no longer accepted by ecologists. Nothing in nature exists apart or removed from humanity. We are the Caretakers, whether we like it or not.

13 Feb 2009, 2:40am
by Backwoods

What a bunch of tree-hugging phony baloney Mr. Michael Heath! [Tree huggers can't help the sap ... comes from hugging trees.] Nature operates on a boom and bust cycle. Evolution [the reason you exist to write such silliness] operates on a “make species extinct” principle. Environmental balance of any sort comes only from active fish and game management. [BTW - "trophy hunting" certainly occurs, but wanton waste of the meat is illegal. There are people spending longer jail terms for killing and wasting moose meat than some folks are for killing humans.]

Ah … the Bambi people. Michael … go spend some time in the woods and you’ll learn an enormous amount. It won’t really take all that long if you pick your spots carefully to watch Bambi get ripped apart by a pack of ravenous wolves [think incredibly well-armed gangs of toughs with no cops in the neighborhood].

Then you can watch as your dear wolves devour the intestines and other juicy parts first … without waiting for Bambi to die. I’ve seen it. It isn’t a pretty sight. If they didn’t get the jugular on the takedown, Bambi will wail for its mother as big chunks of its flesh are being ripped and gulped. Didn’t know deer could wail? It is an eery sound. You should hope it is a sound you never hear. Wolves are nowhere nearly as humane as humans.

And yet that is what you advocate. A hunter’s bullet is virtually always the most painless … most humane … death that happens in the wild.

You may like to think you are. But I assure you that you are no wildlife supporter; regardless of how strong you are :-)

PETA and the like is for people who live in apartments in cities. Anyone who knows anything about nature knows better. You sound smart. You sound educated. Put the books away for a bit and get out in the woods and if far enough away from people you’ll do more real learning in a week than in an entire semester of biology graduate school studying nature.

[FYI: I'm a life-long Alaskan. I live in the woods where I can fire a long range rifle in any direction without worrying that I might hit anything but a tree. And just so you know ... I oppose letting the Fish & Game cowboys do their wolf control killing as well. I love the majesty and brilliance of a wolf. I've been (outdoors ... with no quick way to change that fact :-)within feet as a pack of over thirty giants wandered by on my lake. It is a sight I'll never forget. They are an awesome creature.]

That all said … there is nothing in the quoted portions of the Governor’s letter (I confess I didn’t read the whole version) that is incorrect or misleading; certainly not barbaric and nothing she said was false.

You have much to learn before you are sufficiently knowledgeable and competent to have earned the right to opine on these issues and have anyone pay any attention to you sir.



web site

leave a comment

  • Colloquia

  • Commentary and News

  • Contact

  • Follow me on Twitter

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Meta