Wolf Song of Alaska News


McCain's VP Pick Defends Right to Shoot Wolves

Phillip Matier & Andrew Ross / San Francisco Chronicle / August 31, 2008

 

We can't tell you how Republican vice presidential pick Sarah Palin would do on national defense, but when it comes to defending Alaska's right to shoot wolves, she's not afraid to pull the trigger.

Just ask Rep. George Miller.

Miller, D-Martinez, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, introduced federal legislation last year to end Alaska's policy of allowing people to shoot wolves from airplanes - a practice used to keep the number of wolves in check so they don't eat all the state's moose and caribou.

Miller - who has strong support from environmental groups around the country - deemed the kills cruel and unnecessary to preserve the moose and caribou population. What's more, he said, they violate federal law banning airborne hunting.

Faster than you can cry wolf, Palin told the East Bay congressman and his Washington pals to butt out.

"Congressman Miller doesn't understand rural Alaska (and) doesn't comprehend wildlife management in the North," the Alaska governor said in a statement issued last September.

Miller is also clueless to the fact that game hunters rely on the moose and caribou "to put healthy food on their families' dinner tables," Palin said.

Miller, however, tells us there are plenty of moose and caribou for native Alaskans to hunt. He says his bill, still waiting to be heard in committee, is really about stopping the state from handing out licenses to sportsmen "in the name of predator control."

"Shooting wolves from airplanes probably doesn't look like a good deal to most Americans," he said.

Wolves aren't the only item on Palin's list. She's also taken on the federal government over polar bears, suing the Interior Department on Alaska's behalf in reaction to the feds' decision to list the animals as threatened.

She believes the listing will cripple oil and gas development in sensitive areas - and, in any case, says the enviro argument that global warming threatens to wipe out the polar bears' habitat is a crock.

In case you were wondering, Miller, who just returned from the Democratic National Convention, doesn't think much of Palin as a vice presidential candidate.

"I just don't get it," he says. "Her incredible lack of experience is serious."

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