Wolf Song of Alaska News

Palin and Her Supporters Ignore Facts About Aerial Wolf Hunting

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / October 16, 2006

A recent letter from the McMurroughs of Moose Pass applauded Sarah Palin's pro-aerial killing stance with astoundingly misguided reasoning ("Palin's stand on killing wolves will win a lot of votes if she holds to it," Sept. 28).

That Alaska employs professional biologists doesn't mean it uses them or their data properly. The 77 pages of corrections forced from the Board of Game included much concerning their misuse and ignorance of data. With a governor who owes a political debt to extremists like the Alaska Outdoor Council and appoints a Fish and Game commissioner who serves at his whim, the pressure from above can produce results not in keeping with good science.

The McMurroughs' remark about outsiders indicates how out of touch they are with the fact that 83 percent of Alaskans polled oppose aerial hunting. They ignore two statewide votes banning the practice. And they neglect surveys showing 71 percent of Alaska hunters also disapprove. The McMurroughs seem unaware that two groups of Alaska hunters and trappers are working to abolish aerial hunting. Like Palin, the McMurroughs choose to be blind to what a very large majority of Alaskans are saying.

Finally, their statement that our wolves will never be endangered shows how little they understand history. Wolves and grizzlies were virtually exterminated across our nation, and millions of buffalo were reduced to a few thousand. When you have snow machines, aerial gunners and harvest seasons extending into birthing period, extinction becomes a very real possibility.

---- Martin Haley / Anchorage

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