UPDATE: WOLF SLAUGHTER HALTED! For the WRONG reasons--no money, no snow!
- Palin...STILL Satan's sister!!!
Alaska Department of Fish and Game Halts
Helicopter Wolf Control
Lack of funding, no new snowfall cited as reasons for
Tim Mowry / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / March 20,
FAIRBANKS - The Department of Fish and Game stopped shooting wolves
from a helicopter in the eastern Interior on Thursday after killing 66 wolves in
five days as part of an intensified and controversial predator control program
to increase caribou and moose numbers in an area east of Tok.
officials were hoping to kill as many as 150 wolves by tracking them via
airplane and shooting them from a helicopter, but a lack of both fresh snow and
money prompted the department to temporarily halt the program.
it would take to get department sharpshooters back in the air, Fairbanks
regional supervisor David James replied, "More money and more snow."
department had $100,000 set aside for the helicopter shootings, and James said
the agency had used "probably 80 percent" of that as of Wednesday.
mean time, James said the department will analyze the results of action taken so
far and decide what areas to target next, if any.
The department had been
targeting the area that serves as the calving grounds for the Fortymile Caribou
Herd, which numbers about 40,000. By killing wolves on the calving grounds now,
biologists hope to boost calf survival when the herd's cows drop their calves in
two months. Most of the wolves taken this week were killed in close proximity to
the caribou herd, James said.
"We're going down there to review the
latest data and maps," said James, who was en route to Tok on Thursday
afternoon. "We're going to regroup and see what the data
Ironically, the department pulled the plug on the program one
day after the animal conservation group Defenders of Wildlife went to court in
Anchorage to file for an injunction to stop it.
The potential for legal
intervention had nothing to do with the department's decision to temporarily
halt the program, James said. Wolves were getting harder to find in the area the
department was focusing on, and money was getting tight.
"After the first
few days of an operation like this the productivity curve falls steeply," James
said. "At some point you make the decision it's just not worth it
The fact the department killed less than half the number of
wolves that it was hoping to is proof there aren't as many wolves in the area as
biologists estimate, said Wade Willis, the Alaska representative for Defenders
"They couldn't find any more wolves to kill," Willis said.
"They ran out of wolves; it's plain and simple."
The animal welfare group, which has been opposed to the state's
predator management policies and has stepped up its attack in recent months by
targeting Gov. Sarah Palin in ads and on a special Web site, has long maintained
that the department inflates its wolf population estimates to allow more wolves
to be killed.
"They want that population estimate to be as high as
possible," he said.
But James said the department is confident in its
population estimates and will use information gathered from tracking flights
this week to "confirm or readjust what the population estimate was last fall."
It could be that the department will find that enough wolves have been taken to
meet the program's objective, though James doubts that will be the
"In the majority of our experience, when we've gone in and got more
information to see where we stand, it's been very consistent with where we
thought we were," he said. "Each step of the way, as we get additional
information, we sit down and analyze it to convince ourselves we're still within
the program's guidelines.
"I'm very confident in our ability to do this
right and not exceed the population level that's stated in our management plan,"
The state estimates there are about 400 wolves in the control
area and the management objective is approximately 100 wolves. Prior to the
helicopter strategy, the department relied on hunters, trappers and private
pilot-gunner teams in fixed-wing aircraft who received permits from the state to
kill wolves in the area. The pilot-gunner teams had taken only about 30 wolves
this winter prior to the department's decision to use a
Private pilot-gunner teams with permits from the state can
continue to take wolves until April 30 or conditions are such that planes can no
longer land to retrieve wolves that are shot. The wolf trapping season also
closes April 30.
Even though the department didn't kill as many wolves as
it set out to, James said the program was a success.
portion of the total control area we covered we're pretty pleased at this
point," James said. "There are substantial portions of that control area that we
haven't covered yet."
Of the 66 wolves that were killed, none were
believed to be wolves that live mainly in the 2.5 million-acre Yukon Charley
Rivers National Park and Preserve, which is adjacent to the state's control
The National Park Service expressed concern about the state's plan
to shoot wolves from a helicopter because federal officials worried that some of
the estimated 30 wolves that are the subject of biological studies in the
preserve would be shot and killed. The state agreed not to shoot any wolves
wearing radio collars and to limit the number of non-collared wolves shot in
some packs. The park service provided state officials with the frequencies of
radio-collared packs in the preserve so hunters would know if they were
targeting those wolves.
"As far as I understand, none of the 66 wolves
they took had (radio) collars," preserve superintendent Greg Dudgeon said. "The
time they've been in the air they haven't picked up any of the frequencies of
Contact staff writer Tim Mowry at
You are now entering the Twilight Zone. A place where benevolence toward all life forms is TERRORISM, punishable by prison today...likely, death tomorrow. Savage, unbridled slaughter is the norm, defended as just and humane, as long as money and power remain the blood-soaked, unholy grail. That's the signpost up ahead. Next stop. A place where lies are proselytized as truth; stupidity as wisdom; torture & death as honorable tradition, and contempt, arrogance and rape, as benign and sustainable. The human 'hood--lost, insane and rabid within its own cage--planet Earth.
The concept of 'animal rights' values the simple premise that ALL living creatures have a "right" to be allowed to live their lives without victimization--free from brutality. It is a right that EVERY being strives for.
Animal Rights--Rational, not Radical.
Man IS superior to every other being...in his ability to excuse away those parts of himself too vile for self-examination.
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