Friends of Animals (FoA), a 200,000 member international animal advocacy organization, and Tom Classen, a 30-year Fairbanks bush pilot, last week asked an Anchorage superior court judge to halt the state's wolf control scheme. Another Anchorage superior court judge stopped the program last January in response to an FoA complaint, but the state Board of Game renewed and expanded it in May.
"This latest scheme is at least as gratuitous as the previous one," said FoA president Priscilla Feral. "We will continue doing whatever we can in the courts and in other all other legal ways to stop Alaska's sordid wolf-persecution scheme."
Feral has led Friends of Animals in a strong series of interventions for wolves in Alaska since 1993. Feral has been personally involved in Alaska wildlife issues since 1979, and has asked that people everywhere to avoid travel to Alaska until its government stops making excuses for wolf slaughter.
Classen, a retired Air Force colonel, has done a wide range of commercial, research-related, and other flying throughout Interior and northern Alaska for many years.
The law firm Dorsey and Whitney is representing Friends of Animals. Anchorage attorney Mike Grisham said the state has failed to justify its actions with the biological data that state statutes themselves require.
The new legal filing emphasizes the biological shortcomings to a greater extent than did previous complaints submitted both by FoA and by other organizations. It similarly points out procedural shortcomings, especially the state's failure to give adequate public notice and opportunity for comment before adopting major expansions and other changes to the program in May.
Friends of Animals, headquartered in Darien, Connecticut, has been a global leader in animal rights advocacy since 1957