In order to artificially boost numbers of moose and caribou for sport hunters, the Alaska Board of Game recently approved plans to kill 80 grizzly bears by allowing hunters to bait the bears with human food. Hunting grizzlies by baiting is currently illegal in Alaska. The Department of Fish and Game may also provide a "bounty" to grizzly bear hunters in this area, pending legislative approval this winter. In addition, the board approved expanding land-and-shoot wolf killing for two additional areas, where up to 400 wolves will be killed by aerial gunning teams. All six of Alaska's aerial wolf killing programs will target nearly 900 wolves this season. These deaths, coupled with legal hunting and trapping, will result in approximately 2,500 wolves, or one-third of the Alaska's total estimated wolf population, being killed this winter. Although the Board of Game attempted to include federal lands such as Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge in the wolf killing plan, efforts by Defenders and others helped ensure that these areas were excluded.
Since January 2003, bloody paw tracks have spread across Alaska after Gov. Murkowski reinstated the state-sponsored aerial wolf "control" scheme. As many as 147 wolves in 2003 were chased down and shot or shotgunned from planes in Alaska.
The wolf killing is in response to hunting groups wanting to up the Moose population. Murkowski being in the pockets of the hunting lobby, especially out of state hunters, he approved the aerial assisted killing which has not been used since the late 1980s. Alaskans voted in 1996 and again in 2000 to end all related same-day use of airplanes for public wolf hunting and trapping. In 2003 only 14% of Alaskans held hunting or trapping license.
During this state-sponsored killing, the state issues permits to selected private pilots and their passengers who will then shotgun the wolves from the air after tracking them down in small, fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters. In some cases the aircraft will not be able to land to retrieve dead wolves and put dying wolves out of their misery. This will continue for at least 2-3 winters, to kill additional wolves as they enter the area. After this formal control effort ends, the state will continue indefinitely with de facto control, to be carried out by private ground trappers and hunters.
We're counting on your support to help stop the aerial killing of wolves in Alaska. Please take two actions now:
-First, call Governor Murkowski's office at (907) 465-3500 to express your outrage.
-Then, make a tax-deductible emergency contribution to our Campaign to Save Alaska's Wolves. We need to raise $25,000 in the next 72 hours. Your donation will be used to raise media awareness, mobilize grassroots pressure and take legal action to stop the savage killing.
Time is of the essence. So, please don't delay. Call Governor Murkowski's office and make an emergency contribution to Defenders today.
Together we can stop the carnage.
Thanks for caring,
V.P. for Membership
If you prefer, you can mail your check to: Alaska Wolf Campaign, Defenders of Wildlife, 1130 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036. Thank you.
Other People to Contact about Boycott
Tell them you are not coming to Alaska
until the killing stops!
Robin Feder at Pricess Cruises
Alaska Travel Industry Association
Alaska Chamber of Commerce
Commisioner of Fish and Game - Kevin C. Duffy
Deputy Comm. of Wildlife - Wayne Regelin
Comments at Wildlife
Jim Marcotte - Acting Executive Director of Board of Game