Wolf Song of Alaska News


Predator Control Is Expensive and Inefficient Welfare

 Shooting Radio-Collared Wolves Is Antiscientific And Incompetent

Rudy Wittshirk / Alaska Voices / Anchorage Daily News / March 22, 2010


Now the State of Alaska wants to shoot a video to explain why they are shooting wolves. On Ch. 2 News Riley Woodford, Fish and Game, said the video is to clear up the “misunderstanding” out there about the State’s predator control program.

It appears to me that Fish and Game is confused. It’s been so long since they’ve actually done any real science that they need a refresher course.

I realize there are Alaskans who don’t give a damn about wolves except for the killing of them. However, the State has made claims it is managing wildlife professionally and with “science.” To this I say it is a waste of money and against all the principles of science for wildlife officials to actually gun down radio-collared wolves.

Here’s how real science works: Radio collared wolves allow scientists to look at wild wolf populations in order to study them---without having to waste time and money to go out and look for them. It’s how real scientists learn things about wild animals.
But when Alaska Fish and Game "professionals" can’t even tell the difference between radio-collared wolves and regular wolves---and guns them down from helicopters---this means they have become trigger-happy and incompetent.

The State is spending a hundred thousand bucks on a video to explain its wolf control program to someone---perhaps to themselves.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, 3-22-10: “State budgets $100,000 to produce wolf control video - EDUCATION: Effort made to counter ‘misinformation’ on predator hunt…WOLF: Critics say project presents narrow view to justify state hunt.”

“The video would likely include interviews with Fish and Game staff and ‘perhaps a family or hunter in a small community such as Glenallen,’ the project description said. Footage may be included showing grocery prices in a small Alaska community, people hunting, processing game at home, and families eating together at mealtime.”

Cue the violins!

Oh, it’s not “hunting”---it’s “science.” And it’s being done in order to provide more meat for rural families? Well, I don’t believe that’s the real reason but let’s assume it’s true. Helicopters (and fixed-wing aircraft) are, as we all know, very expensive. Does it make sense to shoot wolves from helicopters in order to provide a bit more wild meat to a few rural families? Sounds to me like Food Stamps would be cheaper, more efficient and more effective. If it is actually needed.

This all sounds like wildlife socialism. It sounds like wildlife welfare. It sounds like a State subsidy to the wildlife killing industry---the rural families in the video are just poster children.
I expect the word “subsistence” and some of its variants to appear in this propaganda video. So I will ask the preemptive question: Is it really “subsistence” when hunting with aircraft and helicopters is involved to make a few more moose? Again, assuming that rural sustenance is the actual purpose of predator control, aren’t we just subsidizing a few rural lifestyles in order to make this careless mass killing look good? I believe so.

Rudy Wittshirk


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