A week and a day after an Alaskan state court ruled aerial gunning of wolves illegal on January 17th, the state's Board of Game held an "emergency" meeting under pressure from trophy-hunting groups in which they voted to resume the barbaric practice. As soon as next week, sport hunters could begin the "hunt," either shooting the helpless animals from airplanes or chasing them down until the wolves are so exhausted that they can no longer run, at which point the mighty hunters land and shoot them at point blank range.
Over the last three years, aerial gunning has killed hundreds of wolves. Twenty-four wolves have already been murdered this year, and the state's programs are targeting over 400 more this winter alone. The reason this massacre takes place at all is that trophy hunters from around the world visit Alaska to shoot wild moose, and they have complained that wolves kill too many of "their" prey. Therefore, the state - which relies heavily on the revenue from hunting licenses for income - allows hunters to "manage" wolf population through killing merely so that a small group of self-styled tough guys can proudly display stuffed moose heads on their walls to prove how strong and brave they are.
Alaskans have voted against aerial gunning of wolves twice, in 1996 and 2000, yet it continues because Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski uses his political muscle to push it through, saying, "We've got a state to manage and a game population to manage, and we've got to do it not on a basis of emotion but on a basis of sound science." However, letting game hunters "manage" wildlife populations is clearly not based on science - the animals were doing just fine keeping one another in check before sadistic state-sponsored hunters started shooting them from airplanes. If the Governor were being truthful, he would have said that he manages the state and the game population based on the science of squeezing blood money from America's wildlife for him and his cronies.
What You Can Do:
- Click http://ga0.org/campaign/StopAerialGunning to urge Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton to enforce the Federal Airborne Hunting Act (FAHA) and end aerial gunning of wolves in Alaska. To have more impact, also contact her by phone or postal mail:
Interior Secretary Gale Norton
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20240
Tel: (202) 208-3100
- Click http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/984880998?ltl=1138770819 to sign a petition urging President Bush to enforce the FAHA and end aerial gunning in Alaska.