Governor Sarah Palin supports the use of aerial wolf hunting as a means to curb the wolf population in Alaska. This tactic known as “predator control” is designed to boost the wolves prey population of caribou and moose. However, many question the rationale behind the wolves’ systematic extermination. Accusations have been made that the measure clears the path for hunters to not only kill the wolves but also increases the population of game for sport hunting. With the reduction of the wolf population and influx of game population overgrazing occurs, which weakens plant supply and increases possible disease outbreaks.
Palin has already spent $400,000 on a campaign to preserve the practice. Additionally, much of Alaska’s appeal to tourists is based on its natural wildlife including wolves, bears and caribou, not hunting. An article from the Washington Independent provides these chilling facts:
In a program begun by ex-Gov. Frank Murkowski, and intensified by Palin, Alaska has sponsored the aerial hunting of more than 800 wolves since 2002 — out of a state population of perhaps 9,000. Pilots chase the wolves through the deep snow, sometimes for miles, until the exhausted animals have slowed enough to be blown away with shotguns. Then the plane lands and finishes the job, unless the wounded wolf has managed to crawl into the deep woods to bleed to death in solitude.
Palin, who won office with the support of powerful hunting groups, has intensified the “cull.” She pushed to offer a bounty to hunters who brought in a left wolf paw (lopped off with a chain saw) and extended the kill order to grizzly and black bears — including sows and their cubs. Before a state court ruled the practice illegal, she offered a bounty of $150 for every slain wolf.
Watch this video from the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, which raises the question: “do we really want a Vice President who champions such savagery?”
Go to Wesleyan’s homepage to register to vote.