Wolf Song of Alaska News
Protests Resume with 'Howl-ins'

Alaska Digest / Juneau Empire / November 7, 2004

ANCHORAGE - A Connecticut-based animal rights group is again taking aim at Alaska with more than two-dozen "howl-ins" planned from New York to Alaska.

Friends of Animals is hoping to put a stop to a state-sponsored wolf-kill program by targeting Alaska's $2 billion-a-year tourism industry.

A similar campaign last year didn't stop an estimated 1.4 million summer visitors coming to Alaska, up 100,000 to 150,000 from the previous summer, said the Alaska Travel Industry Association.

Friends of Animals blames Gov. Frank Murkowski for allowing predator control programs to flourish since he took office in 2002. Under the programs, wolves are either shot by pilots and hunter teams from planes or killed after the plane lands.

The governor has said the programs are needed to reduce predators and make sure that rural Alaskans have enough moose to eat.

The Darien, Conn.-based group had better success about a decade ago when 53 howl-ins in 51 cities provoked then-Gov. Wally Hickel to order a moratorium on a similar wolf program.

Friends of Animals organized more than 150 protests last year.

The group, along with the Last Resort Animal Sanctuary of Sitka, will again ask people to sign postcards to be sent to the governor pledging to boycott travel to Alaska.

Protests also are planned this weekend for California, Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Arizona, Ohio, Oregon, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Protests are planned for Washington, D.C., and New York City later this month and in early December.

Friends of Animals has placed advertisements calling for the tourism boycott in the New York Times Sunday Magazine and Mother Jones Magazine.

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