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Help the McNeil Bear Sanctuary off linmits to hunting


Stop the Extremism!  -  The Board of Game Goes Off the Deep End

Wade Willis / Defenders of Wildlife / March 16, 2009

On Palin's watch, the Board of Game has gone from unbalanced to fanatical in its war on wolves, bears and science.

"In a nutshell, 'the fix is in' regarding an extremism in wildlife management unlike anything we have seen before."  - ADN 2/25/09

Teresa Sager-Albaugh, Palin's new pick for the Board of Game,is an extremist who won't bring experience or diversity of perspective to this already biased Board.

The Board of Game just wrapped up its spring meeting, with some appalling results -- approving an unprecedented expansion to carnivore-killing programs and authorizing controversial hunting and trapping methods that have long been illegal.
Palin and her cronies are counting on Alaskans not to notice the radical tactics they're using in their war on wolves and bears. 
Take action now to let them know we're watching and that we want the Board of Game to represent all Alaskans -- not just extreme hunting interests.

Here's a few of the most egregious proposals approved by the Board of Game:
Poison Gas to Kill Wolf Pups in the Den: The Department of Fish & Game (ADFG) can now use snares and carbon monoxide bombs to kill wolves and pups in their dens in all six of the current carnivore-killing program areas. This is an all-out war on Alaska's wolves. 
 Hired Hunters & Authorized Agents of the State: The ADF&G can now hire residents and nonresidents to kill wolves using all methods employed by ADF&G staff, including using poison gas and snares to kill wolves in the den and shooting wolves from helicopters.  These methods were never intended to be used by private "agents" of the state.
Land and Shoot with Airplanes: Residents can now land and shoot brown bears using airplanes near McGrath.  Landing and shooting of brown bears is strongly opposed by the public and has long been illegal in Alaska.
Snaring of Bears: Desperate to kill carnivores, the Game Board authorized the unprecedented use of snares to kill black bears. Grizzlies will inevitably be killed by snares targeting black bears, a risk one board member dismissed as "collateral damage."  The most moderate board member called the changes "a jihad against black bears by paramilitary groups."
Selling of Bear Parts for Profit: Black and brown bears can be killed near Anchorage and McGrath and their hides can now be sold and resold by commercial fur buyers for profit.  These new rules will encourage bear poaching and allow individual trappers to kill dozens of bears. Alaska's carnivore-killing programs were never intended to be profit-driven.
Helicopter Hunting: Residents can now use helicopters to access bait stations, snares, camps and trap lines to kill bears -- including an unlimited numbers of sows and cubs -- in an area just west of Anchorage. The Board set no limit to the number of snares a trapper can set for bears or to the number of people who can bait bears using helicopters. The use of helicopters for hunting and baiting, or snaring of bears -- especially in the summer months because of the danger to people -- has always been illegal in Alaska, for good reason. 

Palin's newest pick for the Board of Game, Teresa Sager-Albaugh, is a fanatical supporter of the state's so-called "predator control" programs and a former president of the Alaska Outdoor Council who retains close ties with the powerful special interest group that has been behind many of the state's anti-wildlife initiatives.  Even though her appointment hasn't been approved by the state legislature, she was on hand to vote at the meeting -- and her voting record speaks volumes. 

We have a good shot at blocking her confirmation, but we'll need your help to do it. 

Take action now to urge your state legislators to oppose Teresa Sager-Albaugh's appointment.

At her first Game Board meeting, she was the only one to greenlight aerial "predator control" in parts of Denali State Park and announced support for allowing residents to shoot wolves from helicopters.  She also successfully convinced her colleagues to reverse their decision to vote down a "predator control" program on the Alaska Peninsula -- a proposal opposed by the ADF&G.

If confirmed by the legislature, Sager-Albaugh will clearly exert a lot of influence on this powerful board.

Help keep her off the Board of Game by contacting your state legislators and urging them to say no to Sager-Albaugh.

Sarah Palin also reappointed Cliff Judkins to serve what would be his third term on the Board.  Judkins, who currently serves as chairman of the Board of Game, has been a major player in its dramatic grab for power and needs to be stopped.
Alaska's Board of Game should reflect the broad diversity of the Alaskan people, not the extreme interests of a narrow few.  There should be at least one seat for other interest groups around this powerful table, like wildlife viewers and representatives from the tourism industry, the second largest money maker in our state.
We can't stand by and let Sarah Palin and her Board of Game push the envelope any further.

Thanks for your help,
Wade Willis

Alaska Representative
Defenders of Wildlife


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