Images of wolves being hunted from the air were one of the more macabre entries in the presidential campaign, and now Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is at odds with the federal government over wolf hunting.
The National Parks Service has complained that a new program under which state workers will shoot wolves from helicopters in the Upper Yukon/Tanana region.
"We're concerned that it would be difficult and potentially not possible for us to follow our mandates based on the state's action in the control area," Greg Dudgeon, the superintendent of hte Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, told me just now.
Federal officials are worried there are "fewer wolves than what [the state] believes," he said.
A Fish & Game Department spokeswoman told the local AP that he hunting is necessary to keep Caribou herds growing, and that there's no other way to keep the wolf population in check.
"It's a very large area and it's become apparent it's going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to reach those numbers with just [private hunting parties]," she said. "Helicopters are much more efficient."
The group Defenders of Wildlife has also filed suit against Palin.
"While the media obsesses over Governor Palin's private family life, she is getting away with illegally slaughtering large numbers of wolves from the air," commented Defenders Action Fund president, Rodger Schlickeisen. "The governor is even encouraging the killing of wolves that reside and den mostly on federal land, which belongs to all of us, not just Alaskans. There is no biological emergency in Alaska that warrants such measures."