Wolf Song of Alaska News

Update on Alaska's Predator Control Programs

Defenders of Wildlife / October 17, 2007


Here in Defenders of Wildlife's Anchorage office, we're doing all we can to end Alaska's embarrassing, needless and cruel aerial hunting program -- something Alaskans have been clear about rejecting in the past.
Here's a quick update:

  • October 14-20 is National Wolf Awareness Week and TONIGHT, October 17, at 7:00 p.m. at the Campbell Creek Science Center, 6865 Abbott Loop Road, Anchorage, I'll be giving a short talk about Alaska's wolves.  The event is free of charge, and refreshments will be served.  I hope you can join me.   See it on a map.
  • Defenders and 11 other organizations sent a jointly signed letter to Governor Palin on October 3rd to protest the $400,000 she's earmarked in our state budget for an "education campaign" to promote the state's predator control programs.  It's no surprise that the state has chosen to begin this "public education" campaign in the months leading up to next August's ballot measure on aerial gunning.  It's quite clear to us that she is using state money to "educate" citizens on something they've already clearly expressed their opinion on twice before.  We will work to see that Alaskans aren't be swayed by this expensive, state-funded propaganda campaign.   
  • Defenders' lead scientists joined a total of 172 scientists who sent a letter to Governor Palin asking her to reevaluate the shaky science behind the current predator control programs in Alaska.   Read the letter here.   
  • We helped produce a mini documentary about aerial gunning of wolves in Alaska.  It was one of the most popular videos on YouTube and has been viewed over 90,000 times.  Click here to see it for yourself.
  • Defenders recently completed "Alaska's Predator Control Programs: An Overview and Scientific Analysis."  This extensive report details the history of wolf and bear management practices in Alaska since 1994.  Email me to order your free copy.  
  • Congressman George Miller (D-CA) introduced the Protect America's Wildlife (PAW) Act at the end of September.  Our Anchorage office provided crucial background data to draft this new federal law which reflects what Alaskans have supported in two successful ballot initiatives -- that aerial control of wolves should only take place when necessary to prevent a true biological emergency, and should only be carried out by professional wildlife managers -- not private citizens.
  • Defenders is currently awaiting the outcome of a legal action that we filed, along with the Sierra Club and Alaska Wildlife Alliance, challenging the legality of the predator control programs currently being implemented by the state of Alaska.  The court wrapped up their arguments in late September, and we expect to receive news on the outcome of this action in the coming weeks.

That's it for now.  I'll work to keep you updated on our efforts on the ground and on Capitol Hill to end Alaska's unnecessary and unethical aerial gunning program.  
Thanks for all you do to protect our unique and awe-inspiring wildlife heritage in Alaska.
Tom Banks
Alaska Representative
Defenders of Wildlife


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