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Take action for Alaska's wolves
To Concerned Citizens of the Four Corners Area:
Iam writingto draw
attention to a situation in Alaska that should be of great concern
to residents of Colorado andthe United States. Last year,with
the encouragement ofGov. Frank Murkowski, the Alaska Legislature
enacted a law that reinstated the practices of aircraft-assisted
hunting of gray wolves. The purpose is to eliminate 80 to 100
percent of wolves and other predators, such as bears, from an
enormous area of Alaska in order, ostensibly, to increase the
number of moose for subsistence hunters.
hunting comes in two varieties, aerial hunting and same-day
land-and-shoot,both of which are incredibly barbaric and
unethical. Alaskans have voted to ban land-and-shoot hunting twice
in the past eight years (1996 and 2000). Aerial hunting has not
been permitted in Alaska since 1972.
Aerial hunting involves
tracking wolves in deep snow with aircraft and, if necessary,
flushing the wolves into open areas where they can be shot from the
air. Land-and-shoot involves tracking wolves by aircraft, chasing
them tothe point of collapsein deep snow, and landing
andshooting them as they lay exhausted.
Under the new
predator-control program, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game
grants licenses to pilots to conduct the wolf slaughter. All or
nearly all wolvesin selected areas must die, so the hunters make
no distinction as to age they pick off puppies as well asmature
adults, including pregnant females. The incentive? The "fun" of the
hunt (certainly this type of hunting could not be deemed
challenging), and the $300 that a wolf peltin good condition may
fetch in Anchorage. (Note that, according to the Alaska Wildlife
Alliance, people are willing to pay $300 in Alaska just to view a
In November 2003, prior
to commencement of the slaughter, the U.S.-based Friends of Animals
petitioned unsuccessfully for a permanent restraining order to stop
the wolf hunt. Protestersin Alaska andaround the world
demonstrated and contacted Gov. Murkowski, pleading for
cancellation of the predator-control program. Murkowski refused to
budge. In December, the Alaska Board of Game opened up two enormous
areas, totaling some 10,000 square miles, topredator control.
Nearly 120 wolves have been killed to date. This area has recently
been expanded to 20,000 square miles for next fall's and winter's
Why should the fate of
Alaska's wolves be of concern to us "outsiders?" Apart from the
ethical issues associated with aerial-assisted killing, there are
the facts that: within Alaska's boundaries lives the largest
population of gray wolves (7,000 to 9,000) remaining in the United
States; 60 percent of the land in Alaska is federal; and predator
removal is by no means a proven means of increasing prey
With respect to the
latter, in 1997, the National Academy of Sciences completed a study
ofAlaska's predator-control programs, which at the time did not
include aircraft-assisted wolf hunting but did include other
methods of wolfkilling, e.g., snaring. According to Defenders of
Wildlife, the studyshowed that many of the biological
relationships assumed in Alaska's predator-control programs are not
well understood. Thestudy concluded that insufficient
information exists tosay that such programs increase prey
Board of Gamehas recently made an upward revision inits moose
countfor active predator-control areas and has decided to
lifta statewide ban on the hunting of moose calves. Alaska's
government has thereby undercut its own argument that wolves must
be destroyed to protect moose from predation.
As a parent and
concerned steward of the environment, I want to ensure that my
children and generations after them may travel to Alaska
toexperience wolves living in the wild. As a taxpayer, I want a
say in how stateand federal officials manage federalland, and
I do not believe thatsuch landshould be used, as in the case
of Alaska, as a placefor theannihilationof wolves. Nor do
I believe that any government should be permitted to use poor
science and sham arguments to justify theeradication of wolves
which, in terms of our wildlife reserves, are a national
I urge those of you who
agree to take action. In December 2003, Friends of Animals launched
a boycott of all Alaska tourism. The boycott will remain in effect
untilGov. Murkowski halts the aerial and land-and-shoot
wolfcontrol program. To pledge your participation or express
your opposition, contact Gov. Frank Murkowski by mail at P.O. Box
110001, Juneau, AK, 99811; by fax at (907) 465-3532; or by phone
Alternatively, you may
sign a pro-boycott postcardpreprinted by Friends of Animals.
These will be available atone of twostop-the-hunt "Howl-Ins"
held in Durango on Friday, March 26, from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. in the
College Union Building lobby, and from 8-10 p.m. at the Diamond
Today, as some people
celebrate but most of us mourn the one-year anniversary of the day
that America started a war for the first in its history, I would
like to point out a few things. A few facts:
Number one: George W.
Bush is wrong. Wrong about terrorism. Wrong about the war. Wrong
about the economy. Wrong about America.
Instead of uniting this
country after the horrors of 9-11, he has divided America right
down the middle by sending our soldiers off to die in the
senseless, shameless, winless war on the other side of the world
against a primitive, defenseless nation that had no reason, or
intention or even the means to attack us. Until now, that
Fact: They did not
attack us. "We" attacked them. And when all is said and done, we
will have lost the war.
The war that we
As for the economy, it
is not getting better, as Mr. Bush claims, but rather worse. The
national debt, now over $500 billion and growing every day, will be
an enormous burden on many future generations of Americans.
Unemployment is rising. Three million jobs have been lost.
Construction costs have literally gone through the roof because we
are sending all of our materials over to rebuild the country that
we blew up. There are tax-cuts for the rich but not for the
Health care has gone
There is no money for
disabled veterans, or mental patients, or public
And yet, now, Mr. Bush
wants to go to the planet Mars!
Which, by the way, is
named after the god of war.
As for terrorism, Mr.
Bush has not put a stop to it but has rather encouraged it. Indeed,
under his command, America has become the terrorist. The
war-monger. The big bully of the world. And there is nothing that
David likes more than kicking Goliath's butt.
So each and every day
three more dead just this morning our troops in Iraq pay a terrible
price for Mr. Bush's aggressive and arrogant ways.
Perhaps if Mr. Bush had
sons in the military, sons in the 82nd Airborne or even sons he
would not have been so quick to squeeze the trigger and send them
off to war. But they are not his sons over there. They are someone
else's sons. And daughters.
I have noticed that Mr.
Bush will not allow the news media to film the flag-draped coffins
of our dead soldiers being brought back from the Iraqi desert, but
he will use images of flag-draped coffins being brought our of the
9-11 mass grave to further his political ambitions.
This is not surprising
to me. Not surprising at all. For this is the man who responded to
a reporter's question about what he would say to the Iraqis who are
attacking our troops by blurting out "Bring it on!"
And now there are 567
dead sons and daughters. Brothers and sisters. Fathers and mothers.
It is time. It is time
to tell Mr. Bush that he is wrong. Wrong about the world. Wrong
about America. Wrong about death.
From the looks of it,
Mr. Bush would do just about anything, for anyone or to anyone, to
get re-elected. His worst fear is that the American people will see
through his odd smile and blathering lies and pathetic propaganda
and utter contempt for American values and freedoms that are so
dear to true patriots. His ultimate nightmare is that we will rise
up out of our lethargy and vote him out of office, instead of
allowing him and his henchmen to wreak four more years of havoc on
our beloved homeland.
There is a reason that
Mr. Bush would rather focus on gay marriages and space missions to
Mars. Because if he talked about the real problems in America, if
he admitted to all the horrible failures of his administration, if
he told us the truth about his motives for going to war, he would
be defeated in the upcoming election by a tremendous
Let's do it. Let's wake
up. Let's see the truth. Let's tell the truth about Mr. Bush and
his cronies. Come November, let us remove Mr. Bush form the White
House and send him back to Waco.
Better yet, let's send
him to Mars. No matter what is costs America. Or
In support of Bushonomics
Kerry carps about the factory job
losses due to Bush. That sound bit avoids a proper analysis of what
the government policies cause what effects in employment. It fails
to recognize that manufacturing jobs around the world have
diminished about 10 percent in recent years due to increasing
productivity. The U.S. started losing factory jobs back in the
1990s, nearly 2 million during Clinton's final 3 years, even as our
economy boomed. And that we had the same unemployment percentage
when Clinton started his second term that now is occurring under
Bush inherited an economy that was
falling fast, due to reasons beyond his control. He managed to not
only stop that but reverse it despite 9/11 and its devastating
aftermath. But Kerry doesn't mention that, preferring to demonize
his opponent based on a bogus claim that Bush prefers to outsource
jobs to foreign countries, for reasons even he can't say and sound
Outsourcing has been going on for
decades. It works by pushing low-paying, low-skill jobs to
countries that welcome them as an improvement over the even worse
conditions they face. Higher-paying, higher-skills, higher-value
jobs are added and retained in order to improve the performance of
a company creating them. That raises the standard of living for
all. Kerry is playing partisan politics, misstating our economy's
condition and misleading the public by doing so. Kerry is smart
enough to know better.