Eye on Palin: Disregarding Science, Thwarting Democracy

On February 2nd, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund launched a new campaign – Eye on Palin – to draw awareness to Alaska’s barbaric wildlife management policies. “Sarah Palin isn’t fading into the background, so neither are we,” commented Action Fund President Rodger Schlickeisen. “Given her known political aspirations, the American public deserves to know what she’s doing in Alaska, and about her extreme anti-conservation policies. The list is long, and we will document it all, from her continued promotion of the aerial slaughter of wolves and bears, to her lawsuit to remove the polar bear from the endangered species list, even as the sea ice melts beneath it.”

Action Fund spokesperson Ashley Judd narrates the Eye on Palin video commercial that is storming across the internet. Judd’s celebrity status has enabled her to speak on behalf of Alaska’s wolves on national media outlets such as Larry King Live and The View. The campaign couldn’t come any sooner. Next month, the Alaska Board of Game is set to vote on a variety of proposals which would expand the hunting and trapping of wolves, bears and other predators.

Many might wonder, as Larry King did, why care about a wolf issue? A deeper look at the politics surrounding aerial hunting is quite relevant because it reveals how Palin operates as a leader – something most voters were left guessing about since she was shielded from the media throughout the campaign.

Wildlife management politics in Alaska reveals Palin to be a leader who blatantly disregards science. Over 124 wildlife biologists from the United States and Canada have spoken out against Palin’s predator control policy in Alaska. The scientific community, outside of game and fish biologists appointed by Palin, denounces Alaska’s wholesale extermination of predators. Predators such as wolves are actually necessary to keep prey populations in balance by culling out the weak, sick. and elderly animals.

Alaskan wildlife biologist Dr. Stephen Stringham describes the situation. “Predator-prey management decisions are governed less by rigorous science than by politics. Those politics are controlled by people with a comic book biology belief that reducing predation pressure by bears and wolves will automatically maximize the number of moose and caribou available for people to harvest. In fact, moose and caribou are adapted to predation pressure and may not fare well without it — a pressure that hunter harvest does not adequately mimic. Ill-conceived predator control could do more harm than good even from the perspective of people whose only interest in wildlife is killing it, not enjoying live animals living free from fear of every human they detect.”

Even more disturbing, Palin is a leader who directly thwarts democracy. One of the most troubling aspects of Sarah Palin’s devotion to shooting wolves from helicopters is her use of tax payer money to buy support for aerial shooting. Alaskans have voted twice to ban aerial hunting. Palin initially circumvented this ban by declaring a “wildlife emergency” and authorizing game and fish officials to keep shooting. In 2008, a third ballot measure on aerial hunting went before voters.

The wording on this measure was purposefully designed to confuse opponents of aerial shooting. More egregious, in the months prior to the vote Sarah Palin spent $400,000 of state money to “educate” Alaskans about the necessity of aerial hunting. Buying votes with state funded propaganda worked – proposition two which would have banned aerial hunting for a third time was voted down on August 26, 2008.

Aerial shooting isn’t the only wildlife management issue where Palin disregards the will of Alaskans. The majority of Alaskans oppose the hunting of bears who have been habituated to bear viewers. These bears are unafraid of humans, and thousands of tourists a year flock to Alaska for the chance to safely view wild grizzlies. Even the majority of Alaskan sport hunters oppose shooting bears in areas where they have learned to trust human bear viewers

Palin, however, refuses to close bear hunting in areas like the Katmai Preserve, which is heavily used by bear viewers. In fact, Palin has gone out of her way to thwart the bear viewing industry, despite the fact that it generated $100 million last year. The majority of tourists come to Alaska to view wildlife, not to shoot it. The state of Alaska , however, refuses to set aside state land for non consumptive users like wildlife viewers and photographers.

Palin’s response to the increased scrutiny of her wildlife policies shows her to also be a leader who demonizes dissent. Governor Palin released the following statement in response to the Eye on Palin campaign.

“The ad campaign by this extreme fringe group, as Alaskans have witnessed over the last several years, distorts the facts about Alaska’s wildlife management programs. Alaskans depend on wildlife for food and cultural practices which can’t be sustained when predators are allowed to decimate moose and caribou populations. Our predator control programs are scientific and successful at protecting vulnerable wildlife.”

Palin’s characterization of Defenders Action Fund as an “extreme fringe group” reveals her adherence to a political ideology whereby any form of dissent is defined as “radical”, “extreme” or “socialist”. This is a convenient way to link activism to terrorism – the most extreme expression of views from “fringe” groups.

Defenders President Roger Schlickeisen responded to Palin’s statement by pointing out that his organization has been in existence longer than Alaska has been a state, and has more members than the state of Alaska has residents. Hardly fringe indeed. Palin doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo that America voted in 2008 for plurality of beliefs and the right to express them without fear of winning a permanent vacation to Guantanamo. The ironic thing is that Palin is the one who holds extreme views across a vast spectrum of political issues.

Palin is in fact the one unabashedly distorting the truth. Palin asserts that aerial hunting of wolves is about feeding poor, rural Alaskans. But Defenders Action Fund asks why are sport hunter groups the biggest advocates of aerial hunting as opposed to advocates for the poor or hungry? Why does the Palin administration allow out of state hunters to hunt and directly compete with rural hunters for supposed limited resources in most of the areas where aerial hunting is done? Why does Palin oppose what is called “rural preference” which would give true rural subsistence hunters priority access over sport hunters in the areas where aerial hunting is conducted?

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If Palin were truly concerned with balancing prey species, why hasn’t she appointed a single scientist to Alaska’s Board of Game (BOG), which votes on most wildlife management decisions in Alaska? The board is comprised entirely of trophy hunters. Biologists and wildlife viewers have been asking for a seat at the table. So who did Palin appoint in 2008 to fill a BOG vacancy? Her middle school basketball coach. His qualifications? An “enthusiasm for hunting, fishing and carving antlers”. Being an avid trophy hunter continues to be the one and only qualification for Board of Game members. This is convenient if (like Palin) you support unregulated sport hunting, because in Alaska sport hunters are the ones responsible for regulating sport hunting.

I never thought I would utter “worse than George W. Bush” when describing a potential presidential candidate. An examination of Palin’s wildlife management reveals that she is cut from the same cloth as W. – unabashedly lying to the public, appointing incompetent personal friends to government positions, disregarding science as rubbish, describing dissent as radicalism, and buying votes when the will of the people thwarts her political agenda.

Roger Schlickeisen concludes, “While the country moves on in a new wave of hope and determination to solve our nation’s problems, Governor Palin is still stuck in the last century, along with the other global warming deniers. But our new website will track every harmful step she takes with regard to Alaska’s environment and natural resources.”

To learn more visit www.eyeonpalin.org

Jessica Teel

Jessica Teel is a full-time Alaska resident, volunteer wildlife rehabilitator and freelance writer who studies grizzly bears in Alaska. Read more about Sarah Palin’s wildlife management track record on Jessica’s website

Photo of wolf by Gary Kramer.

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Comments

  1. Eric Ferreira says

    Alaskans seem to share a sense of “manifest destiny” on land they deem to have unlimited potential to exploit. The problems aren’t caused by the animals. They have been there much longer than the non-native settlers who have encroached on wildlife space for the past 160 plus years. It would be useful to hear native Indians’ opinion on this topic considering their views on nature as a sacred source that is respected and conserved. But, at least in California, their opinions are rarely heard as if they don’t exist or have a role in politics. I can only surmise that this is due exactly to the racism that the author mentioned and was criticized for doing so. Racism is definitely a problem for those who are experienced and able to identify it. For those who can’t you probably need to get out more often and reconsider the validity of right wing values based on unchecked inherited beliefs. Until then, its a sad time for Bambi and everyone else you fear.

  2. Pat says

    What Americans are showing is that it is the dastardly Unitary Executive status that has pushed the envelope and allows election mistakes to put them at risk as if we were all members of the Jonestown massacre gang.

    It matters not a whit who becomes President except for the fact that putting any marionette in the office offers unlimited ability to enhance or destroy the country depending upon who is backing that person.

    The problem is the Unitary Executive that Bush helped to clarify, and fair play suggests that Obama not gets his turn to show Republicans how it feels.

    When will both sides stop this bi-partisan madness, and rely upon representative democracy of the many in Congress as intended?

    If America’s highs and lows are due not to the marionettes in office but to the funders who place them there, ending corporate welfare via personhood, and philanthropic welfare via faith based initiatives, and one-sided race based affirmative action welfare is the best Americans can do to restore America.

  3. says

    Since my name has been dragged into this debate, regarding my statement about “comicbook biology”, let me try to clarify matters.

    The State of Alaska employs some of the best wildlife biologists in the world. However, a litmus test for being hired is a keen interest in sport hunting and/or fishing, and often a strong bias in favor of predator control. Hence, a lot of top notch biologists who might otherwise work for the State are excluded. The same is true in most states, in part because these departments were created primarily to produce wild animals for harvest, and because license fees and related taxes support these departments. So don’t be surprised if there is more support for predator control among state biologists than among federal biologists (who are not mandated to maximize hunting opportunities), or especially among non-governmental biologists.

    Even among state biologists, inside and outside of Alaska, there is strong concern about Alaska’s predator control program. For example, 4 recently-retired ADF&G biologists published an article criticizing the State for not closely monitoring the impacts of predator control on bear populations; simply killing killing killing is not a professional approach which could have devastating effects.

    Few of wildlife biologists (myself included) would rule out some form of predator culling under some circumstances. But we are deeply concerned that Alaska’s predator control program is not well-designed to meet its objectives. It is based on the simplistic notion that as predator number go down, prey numbers go up. THAT is what I called “comicbook biology.”

    Science unequivocally demonstrates that predator-prey relationships are far more complex than that. Palin’s expenditure of $400,000 to “educate” Alaskans about the “scientific validity” of the State program is no substitute for actually having scientific validity.

    I will soon post considerable information about this on our website (www.bear-viewing-in-alaska.info). But for now, let me just share an article I published several months ago on the subject.

    From a scientific standpoint, the issue is not whether killing wolves or bears can have benefits, but where, when and how do the benefits outweigh the costs. And from a human perspective, we must ask who reaps the benefits and who pays the costs? Suppose that there is an area of Alaska where one family harvests moose and 10 families bring viewers to watch bears and wolves. If killing off wolves there would assure that the one family can harvest one moose each year, but the loss of those wolves would reduce profitability of the viewing businesses, whose need should be given preference? The State of Alaska, in nearly all cases, would automatically give the hunters preference. Reciprocally, folks like Ms. Teel might make the opposite choice. But an objective wildlife management would ask how dependent each party is on fate of the wolves, and what other options each side has for meeting its needs. If the hunters live deep in the bush, and would starve without the moose (a situation I have personally faced), then I’d give them preference. However, if the moose hunters earn $100,000 per year in real estate and just like eating moose, whereas the people earning a living from wildlife viewing have no other good option for income, I’d make a different decision.

    It is complexities like this which led the National Academy of Sciences and over 200 independent scientists to conclude that Alaska’s predator control program was seriously deficient from both biological and socio-economic perspectives.

    The State of Alaska would encounter far less opposition to its predator control programs if it quit trying to sledgehammer all opposition and tried meeting with them to find out their needs and work jointly to assure everyone gets a fair shake. Step one would be convening a scientific conference on predator control and on predator-prey relations, to which all interested parties were invited. If the State program cannot stand up to peer review by skeptics, then it doesn’t deserve the label of being “scientific”.

    Stephen F. Stringham, PhD
    Director, Bear Communication & Coexistence Research Program
    Director, Bear Vieiwing Association

    ***********

    In any event, here is the article I published in the Redoubt Reporter on 20 August, shortly before the vote on aerial hunting.

    Objectivity should trump advocacy in predator control ballot measure

    Whether you favor or oppose predator control, with or without aerial shooting, the state’s juggling of this political hot potato warrants concern about its respect for democratic process and scientific integrity.

    Twice before, Alaskans have voted against aerial shooting of “predators.” Twice before, the state has derided the vote as “ballot box biology.”

    As voting on a new initiative approaches, Board of Game members have toured Alaska communities arguing that aerial shooting is essential for reducing predators enough to achieve target moose and caribou harvests. Intensive management, they claim, is the only strategy justified by the scientific evidence.

    Really? Biologically, do predator numbers actually have to be drastically reduced to restore balance with their prey? Is aerial hunting essential to achieving this? Politically, are Board of Game presentations and literature educational or propaganda that illegally lobbies against the Ballot Measure 2?

    True education explains how key statistics were derived. It gives a hearing to all sides of an issue. The Board of Game does neither. It ignores most concerns of the National Academy of Sciences in its report “Wolves, Bears and Their Prey in Alaska,” as well as more recent information on predator-prey ecology – information suggesting that intensive management could backfire, adversely affecting moose and caribou.

    1. The Board of Game proposes restoring moose and caribou numbers to their habitat’s carrying capacity (“K”). Is that wise? Populations near K are especially vulnerable to disease, malnutrition and predation; sustainable yield is low. Health and yield are theoretically maximized nearer 50 percent K. So why isn’t a density nearer 50 percent K the board’s target?

    2. The board claimed that predators take up to 80 percent of all moose and caribou dying.
    Under what conditions? How much is nonhunting mortality governed by predator abundance versus environmental conditions (like snow depth)?

    Isn’t 80 percent a worst-case scenario? What’s the average percent eaten by predators? Under what circumstances?

    How many of the prey eaten are killed by predators, rather than by malnutrition, winter severity, etc?

    3. Of prey killed by predators, how many are “walking carrion” that would have died anyway? What proportion of prey spared from predation would be available for hunter harvest? Implying anything near 100 percent is comic book biology.

    4. Most game is harvested where access is easy — near a road, trail, river or lake. Where access is poor, decimating predators might backfire. High predator populations in remote areas might drive prey toward areas easily accessed by hunters. Lowering predator populations might actually reduce the number of moose and caribou available where access is easy.

    5. Prey moving from place to place to avoid predators causes the prey animals to “graze” their home range more evenly, enhancing its productivity. Prey that stay in small areas may over-graze and suffer from more contagious disease.

    6. Predators focus on easy – ill, injured or old – prey more often than on the prime adults, especially males, that most hunters prefer. Predation may partly counteract harvest impacts, keeping age-sex ratios closer to optimum than harvest alone does.

    7. Snowshoe hare and rodents compete with moose for willow stems, a food especially crucial during winter. These competitors sometimes girdle so much willow that they limit the supply for moose. Wolf predation on hares and rodents could increase food supply for moose.

    8. Willow are also a major source of protein for moose during spring when new calves are produced. Protein production requires nitrogen. At lower latitudes, plants get most of their nitrogen from air. This is far less effective in Alaska’s cold, wet soils. Willow can, however, get nitrogen from decaying salmon scraps and dung left by bears and wolves. Drastically reducing predator or salmon numbers could impair future moose productivity.

    9. Optimum ratios of predators to prey will vary situationally. The Board of Game should tailor management tactics to local conditions rather than employing a one size fits all strategy across vast areas of the state.

    10. Bear populations are far more vulnerable than wolf populations to over-harvest. Yet, The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is not closely monitoring bear numbers in predator-control zones, much less in noncontrol zones. True sustained yield predator management requires careful, detailed monitoring of all major factors affecting prey and predator populations before, during and after predator reduction periods. Only thus can the benefits of predator control be maximized while its impacts – e.g., on hunting and on hundreds of millions of dollars of ecotourism income — are minimized.

    These are but a few of the issues that make predator-prey experts skeptical that “intensive management” really optimizes hunter harvest.

    So long as the state fails to address these and other controversial points, its truths will remain half-truths where advocacy trumps objectivity, and propaganda masquerades as education. Worse, its battle against so-called “ballot box biology” will remain more fundamentally a battle against democracy — against having government policies guided by the public rather than by politicians and special interest groups.

    Dr. Stephen Stringham earned his mater of science degree at the University of Alaska studying moose and his doctorate degree studying bears. He has researched predator-prey relations, including a focus on maximizing population viability in ungulates and bears by optimizing age-sex ratios. He is the author of five books on Alaska’s wildlife.

  4. Su says

    I had to check and make sure this website is still called the L.A. Progressive.

    I’m curious about who some of these people commenting are – there isn’t much support for hunting, or Palin, among L.A. progressives, but oddly, this article has attracted them…

    Also, this is definitely the wrong website if you’re into slamming people for pro-choice views, or slamming people in the entertainment industry, which is about 70% of the local economy.

  5. Sharon Harrington says

    The article by Ms. Teel is useful in educating the general public about the true Sarah Palin – as so many Americans knew nothing about her when she hit the scene. She continues to be a key figure for the Republican party, so lets keep up the dialogue in the ensuing 4 years before the next Pres. election – so people will not believe she is being brutally attacked by the media. It seems she is capable of brutal attack of wildlife – helping to prop up a false sense of a “wolf problem” – keeping the Board of Game free of science-minded individuals – keeping a totaly biased group to run the Board of Game – biased toward trophy hunters, biased toward allowing more and more Non-Alaskans to kill Alaskan wildlife that she proposes Alaskans need to feed their families (Wolf burgers?). So, it seems Sarah is in a position to deserve some democratic airing of concerns by Amer. citizens who do not agree with her. A lot of the “coments” about Ms. Teel’s article listed above seem a bit too ?planned? – like pre-prepared stmts. by perhaps Palin herself or from members of the Alaskan Board and Game.

    It’s ghastly to learn Palin used $400,000 of tax payer money to falsly educate Alaskans into voting for aerial killing of wolves – something Alaskans had already voted twice AGAINST !! It sounds like there is a lot of scientific evidence against the need to weed out wolves at this time. What kind of leader is she really?? Why is she thrarting a bear-viewing industry that bring in lots of money to her State? Why are these Americans so against people like Ms. Teel stating her views – her desire for Alaska to set aside some land strictly for bear viewing? Against her logical stance that bears that are not afraid of people because of the viewing – make too easy of targets for so-called hunters. It appears they are against her shining light on the disgusting aspects of this, that real hunters have also stated goes against their code of ethics as regards real hunting – because shooting a bear that walks up to you in a friendly way is not sport hunting – the shooter probably takes the bear skin home as a trophy – and do not utilize the other parts of the bear the way Natives used to when the killing was a necessity. Yes, Sarah Palin, could we have some statistics on how these kills are actually utilized? Can we have some stats on how many families hunt for the food they put on their table and if they economically utilize the whole animal they kill. I want to know if she is actually hurting the rural population – the Alaskans she was voted into office to protect – by these policies that are so cozy with Sport Hunters – alot of them Non-Alaskans. from a Concerned Amer. Citizen – Bernie

  6. Brenden says

    Well-written article, Mrs. Teel. And so true. Palin, like many Alaskans, and other primitive-minded people, represents a very outdated worldview, her methods are political and not scientific and she has an extreme bias for appointing only people in support of trophy hunting to manage wildlife, people who support a very immoral and increasingly unpopular activity in western society. Demonizing predators and believing that less predators equals more deer for hunters is 100 years ago thinking, it’s shocking how many people are still so ignorant as to believe such a thing.

  7. empathy says

    So many of the above comments disparage personalities as opposed to a responsive debate about the issues. This detracts from anything of value one might have to add to this dialog. Name calling simply makes one look stupid. If you can stay on topic and provide insights, or research to support your stance, this would enable us to have a viable conversation.
    Today, here in the Carolinas, a girl was attacked by a coyote. This does not mean all coyotes are bad. This does not mean we must initiate a program to slaughter coyote. On rare occasions, aberrant behavior of every species occurs. This is the way of nature. Both in the animal kingdom and among humans.
    There is nothing sporting about aerial hunting.
    I believe in allowing nature to take its course and to regulate itself. We do not need humans to intervene.
    Hunters often seek to validate their inclination to hunt by stating it is necessary; it is for the good of man; it is for the good of balancing nature.
    I believe we should step aside and allow nature to balance itself.
    Hunting is often an excuse for brutal barbaric sadistic slaughter.
    I believe Ms. Teel has written a superior and well researched article. Thank you Ms. Teel.

  8. annieR says

    My husband was a wildlife biologist and worked as a federal government wildlife manager. He recognized the need to manage wildlife populations so there was enough food and habitat to go around. However, he opposed methods that left mangled, bleeding animals to crawl off to die a slow painful death. He died of an Agent Orange disease from his service in Vietnam. I guess he didn’t much like killing of any kind.

  9. nikolai says

    RIGHT ON(!) Ashley Judd!

    I always did like her. BUT, I bet her hillbilly sis and mom don’t agree; they probably dig palin.

  10. Jessica Teel says

    RE: Piney

    There has never been a documented wolf attack on humans in Alaska. Never. Wolves have never been, and are not a threat to human safety.

    J. Teel

  11. Vidsweet says

    THWARTING DEMOCRACY? Right, she was voted in to make decisions like these (and in fact aerial hunting PREDATES her terms). This is the practice there, was already in place.

    If you’re gonna comment on DEMOCRACY, go report on more insiduous and sinister acts going on in DC. You know, how the Democrats are THWARTING DEMOCRACY by not allowing enough time for people to read the bill. OR, how they are THWARTING DEMOCRACY by disregarding the flood of public’s negative reaction to the bill. Let’s see, will the aerial hunting thwart YOUR democracy as much as the Democrats are blatantly putting ahood over your eyes?? You are sheep. Go blindly follow the killers of democracy off a cliff.

  12. nikolai says

    Let’s cut to the chase; these people are selfish and cruel.

    It’s NOT about protecting large game animals from the wolves so they can be “harvested”(killed), these people JUST LIKE KILLING AND DEATH.

    Don’t the Iraq and Afghanistan wars prove it?

  13. Tiffany says

    I some how can’t take someone like Judd who gets breathlessly excited about abortion rights serious on this one.

    Hollywood can barely run their own lives and then they want to influence ours, that is a joke!

  14. NeaL says

    To be upfront, I am a Palin supporter. I knew about her before she was selected as McCain’s running mate.
    I’ve also lived in Alaska. The subject of aerial culling was in the local newspapers as far back as 1995 when I was up there in Cordova.

    To me, this is mainly a State issue, not a national one, as illustrated in this link to the Alaskan State archives.
    http://gov.state.ak.us/archive-64806.html

    In other words, our federal government and everyone else from outside Alaska ought to butt-out. They are far-removed from the situation and do not have to live with the consequences of any actions which might be implemented.

    As far as any scrutiny directed at Governor Palin, though I may disagree with her critics, I welcome the attention. I wish we had this much foresight of interest in everyone who runs for President. I do hope she runs in 2012, though it might be better for her to wait until 2016 if Obama’s popularity remains high enough that his re-election is imminient.

    Now to pick at a few things from this article:

    “Defenders President Roger Schlickeisen responded to Palin’s statement by pointing out that his organization has been in existence longer than Alaska has been a state.”

    The same can be said for the Ku Klux Klan. What does longevity have to do with anything?

    “The ironic thing is that Palin is the one who holds extreme views across a vast spectrum of political issues.”

    Obama was regarded as the most Liberal member of the Senate. Extreme views are a matter of perspective. If you are on the far Leftt, anyone on the far Right looks “extreme,” & vice-versa.

    I’d have more respect for the views of this article if the author stuck more with presenting the facts and backing them up, instead of sharing opinions like, “I never thought I would utter ‘worse than George W. Bush’ when describing a potential presidential candidate.”

  15. says

    First, the culling of wolves is a practice continued by Sarah, but not instituted by her. She is merely continuing a practice that was instituted long before she was elected. Why? Because it works.

    Executives oftentimes have to make unpleasant, distasteful, unpopular, and painful decisions. It goes with the job. Some executives are inept; some kowtow to political correctness and make poor decisions based on what “feels right” rather than addressing reality; others chase after short-term popularity. Any of the foregoing would be the easy way out and the path Sarah could have chosen in managing Arctic wolves, or any other matter.

    The four basics a successful leader adheres to are: cost, benefit, safety, and legality (Hilley, 2008, p. 48). Does the benefit outweigh the cost? Is the proposed action safe and legal?

    Though not popular with animal rights, environmental groups, and left-wing groups like LA Progressive, culling wolves permits caribou and moose populations to remain at proper levels. Alaskans depend on moose and caribou for food (Palin, 2009, ¶2). Managed eradication of an excessive number of predators is proven to work. The state of Idaho is having a problem with wolves decimating deer and elk and is considering instituting a culling program (Idaho, 2009, ¶1), but no one seems to care since Sarah is not involved and the objective of her enemies is to destroy her by any means necessary.

    The benefits of culling outweigh the costs. The method is safe. It is legally authorized. Aerial hunting is proper for the unique geography of Alaska. This is not flat land with improved, paved roads. Many locations in Alaska can only be reached by aircraft or boat. Sarah’s decision may be unpopular with some, but it’s the right decision.

    An effective leader has the courage and fortitude to make the right decision and stand by it without apology even when it might not be popular or lead to harsh criticism; and even when emotions run at a fever pitch.

    Ashley Judd and “Defenders” might not like it, but then, they do not have to walk in Sarah’s shoes and make these decisions.

    References

    Big game drop attributed to wolf pack increase. (2009, February 5). 2News.tv. Retrieved February 15, 2009 from: .

    Hilley, J. (2008). Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).

    Palin on Defenders of Wildlife Campaign. (2009, February 4). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved February 4, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1623.

  16. IronJawAngel says

    In reading your article, I find it interesting that you do not state that there are many opinions on this subject and you bring only your opinion,One sided don’t you agree? As with all so called journalist it is only your side, left with no integrity and no skills as a journalist maybe you should give this another thought as to why you are really doing this, what are your motives? As far as Ashley Judd a has been whatever, her family comes from Kentucky where they hunt and kill, so maybe Judd should go there and maybe assault her relatives, what a bad joke you and Judd are.

  17. Joyful cardinal says

    Your article is another example of Journalistic malpractice.

    You don’t even check your facts.

    Why don’t you go after your meating eating hollywood liberals and ask them how they get the meat they eat.

    This is surely sloppy reporting and false as false can be.

    We are on to this game you liberals are playing as you keep Governor Palin’s name fresh in our minds as a women who governs with integrity and courage.

  18. John from Philly says

    Being from Philadelphia, I would not know of this aspect of Governor Palin’s policy of people first populism.

    It makes sense to me that when the food supply is being threatened, the use of helicopters is the fastest way to get the job done. Better than walking or snow mobiles.

    Thank you for letting us know that Governor Palin has the compassion to protect people from predators who endanger people’s food supplies.

  19. Thomas says

    Wolves are the worst predators. They are the ultimate sport killing machines.

    A point which should be stressed is “wolves kill for the sake of killing,” not just to survive. Many are convinced wolves kill only what they need to eat. That simply isn’t true.

    Remember the moose with brain worm the wolves didn’t eat? In the same area, the same winter and only a couple of months later, the same Conservation Officer followed two wolves after a spring snow storm and found the wolves had killed 21 deer. Only two were partially eaten.

    The snow gave the wolves the advantage. These deer were autopsied and many were found to be pregnant. The total number of deer killed in 2 days by these 2 wolves was 36.

    Such incidents of surplus killing are common. For example, Canadian biologists came upon an area where a pack of wolves have killed 34 caribou calves in one area. Another example came from Alaska. In the Wrangell Mountains, a pack of five wolves came upon 20 Dall rams crossing a snow-covered plateau. All 20 rams were killed by the wolves. Only six were partially eaten by the wolves.

  20. Piney says

    Jessica I know you are passionate about your beliefs. Do a Google for Wolf Attacks Alaska Check out the various entries that are recent involving not only pets but children as well.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-11-03-798767073_x.htm
    [ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Children in the village of Marshall do not go out alone without an adult. They have been told to stay inside after dark. When night falls, three sentries are posted along the village periphery to keep the wolves out.
    Precautions have been taken in the Eskimo village in western Alaska after a pack of wolves last week attacked sled dogs, killing three adults and three puppies. A wolf killed by villagers turned out to be rabid.

    "There is a concern about the pack that is left remaining that is wandering out there," he said. "That pack is still out there and might have the rabies."]

    Another link http://www.aws.vcn.com/wolf_attacks_on_humans.html details many attacks by wolves on humans.

    Yes, wolves are beautiful, but reality is that wolves need to not become too populated or they die of both starvation and disease when they decimate their food source. If you have watched any videos of a pack taking down a full grown moose or her calf, in your mind’s eye, replace the animal with a child. Your child. Still think we should leave wolves to procreate willy-nilly?

    Don’t even get me started on global warming myths. Mother earth has gone through cycles of warming and cooling from the moment of creation. They occurred long before algore was here to play chicken-little yelling, “The sky is falling!”

  21. What says

    Teel, I want to know when did you start writing crap about Governor Sarah? Stick with studying grizzlies since you’re not good at wolves you know nothing about. Governor Sarah has been a hunter since childhood and can sit your sorry butt down and teach you some things moron. She’s a class act you can’t follow. And get your puppet Judd off the crate. She needs to stick with sending supplies to the poor in foreign countries, since she obviously did poorly in http://www.metacafe.com/watch/875096/ashley_judd_very_erotic_foreplay_sex_scene/

    You guys need to mind your own shop and let Governor Sarah continue to do a fantastic job. Jeolousy will only take yourselves down. If I were Governor Sarah, I’d catch the wolves and release them in both of your backyards! Watcha gonna do then?

    • sandrine deneuvre says

      HAHAHAHAHAHA…..the best part of this entire box of slop you people are whining about is this: Ms. Palin is no longer governor of your “fair” state. She has been held on charges of corruption, & finally found to be guilty. As well, Ms. Palin has the education of a third grader (sorry kids), and it shows. I am sooooooooooooooooooo ELATED that she has shown herself to be a hardheaded rightwinger with not too much between her ears. Did you know that Sen. McCain only met Ms. Palin TWO DAYS prior to choosing her to be Vice President?? Yup…it is true, like it or not. And, Ms. Palin is not only in favor of killing ALL wolves, she is also a supporter of killing bears, and all natural predators…like ya know, in case a human might wander into their habitat. Just kill them all, and we humans will be safe once again. hahaha…..geez, this would be hilarious if it weren’t so stupid. Sleep well you fools.

  22. says

    WOW – I had no idea that Sarah Palin advocated killing defenseless wolves from helicopters – THAT’S SO COOL! That has to be waaay easier than walking through all that snow

  23. Bruce O'Hara says

    O.K., when Ms. Teel stated that Sarah Palin was “shielded from the media”, I knew I was reading the words of an idealogue whom I couldn’t trust. If she is going to lie about something as blatant as the vicious treatment Palin received, as if the whole country isn’t aware of it – then I figure I can’t believe a word she says.Of course, there is a segment of the political landscape whose tactics condone ANY means necessary to accomplish their objective of destroying a feared political rival. I believe they learned that from Olinsky. Save your lies for the ignorant.

  24. Gary says

    Oh man….Jessica Teel, you are so far off. There is plenty of science used in predator control. And Alaska is certainly not the only state that does this. Most of the western states have predator issues.

    In fact, here is the latest from Idaho:

    http://www.2news.tv/news/39146442.html

    You see, the problem is, if left unchecked, the wolves kill EVERYTHING. And when the heard is gone, they start going after pets, and people.

    If you like in Alaska, you most certainly know that attacks on people by these wolves is way up. And I’m not talking by people out in the boonies. I’m talking townsfolk.

    It’s a shame that these wolves have to die, I’ll give you that. But there is no other alternative. You can’t just catch them and release them. Wherever you put them, they will destroy the balance of nature.

    What I want to know though, is Ashley Judd actually celebrates the vile sub-human practice of abortion. Thinks it’s OK.

    Less that 140 wolves a year are killed in Alaska, BUT, 1.2 million innocent babies are murdered every single year.

    Pardon me if I don’t get on the bandwagon with a sick immoral woman who thinks that killing 140 predators a year is just horrible, but murdering 1.2 million innocent children a year is a “choice”.

    To me that is just sick, twisted, and sub-human.

  25. Clifton B says

    Ms. Teel;

    I think you wrote your article before hearing about this:

    http://ussportsmen.org/Page.aspx?pid=1852

    This means Governor Palin has 3 million supports of Alaska’s scientific methods of wildlife management. Also Alaska’s wildlife management methods are not unique, they practiced throughout the entire United States.

  26. Timeparticle says

    There is good science and bad science. This is bad science. Many scientists don’t understand the differences of the two. As long as the scientific process solves the problem, the means isn’t that important, in their minds. Jessica, you fight on the side of ethical scientific solutions to wildlife balance. Keep it up.

  27. sfernando says

    this attack on gov palin is a pathetic attempt at publicity by a failing actress and bunch of clueless and shamelessly hypocritical liberals.
    of anyone want to prevent cruelty against animals seriously, he or she should go to the nearest grocery and protest the sale of chicken ( after first turning and keeping a vegetarian diet for at least a year ) . anyone else is a shameless hypocrite by definition.

    and anyone writing about this attack on gov palin seriously, without making above point or similar is a narrow minded slave with low iq.

    i know this coment will probaly not be published here bc liberals and their slaves cannot stand free rational debate . but we are not discouraged they will be exposed for what they are anyway. you cannot hide from reality forever in a free society

  28. says

    First of all Ms Teel , the word is dissent, not descent. English 101.

    The current aerial practices far predated the governship of Sarah Palin. Where have you been for the past decade if you really have had an agency older than Alaska. It certainly sounds like a hack job to me.

    Second, I don’t see any problem with hunting by both sportsmen and natives as long as adequate herds are maintained. It sounds as though the current program is working well.

    Thinning wildlife is practiced all over the US. In North Carolina where I live deer are overrunning the countryside. Thinning is accomplished by aerial hunting here- we shoot from tree stands.

    Tom

  29. GAbuckeye says

    Today, Palin, who is Alaska’s governor and a hunter, received support in the form of a letter sent by a group of pro-hunting organizations representing nearly 3 million members. The group labeled the Defenders of Wildlife, for whom Judd was speaking, an “animal preservation group.”

    The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, which spearheaded the letter-writing campaign, labels aerial hunting a “scientifically valid and sound method of predator management.” The letter itself cites “the critical importance of science in wildlife management” and states that “the future of effective wildlife management necessitates that emotional pleas not substitute for reasoned analysis.”

    In closing, alliance Senior Vice President Rick Story writes, “It is simply wrong for an environmental group to use Hollywood glitz and glamour to hide science from the public.”

    I support hunting as a means of wildlife management — and management is necessary in wild areas surrounded by civilization — but I have seen aerial-hunting footage, and it’s pretty brutal and non-sporting.

    However, it is a long-standing program that has been in place longer than Palin has been governor. That’s not to imply it’s a good program, but it’s really something Alaskans ought to decide
    among themselves.

    – Pete Thomas
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/outposts/2009/02/post-3.html

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