Sarah Palin: Alaska's Dead Wolf Pups Demand Justice!

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  • recipient: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

This summer, Alaska wildlife agency personnel reportedly staked out a known wolf denning site – a practice that is illegal under Alaska law – and, using helicopters, gunned down 14 adult wolves from the air.

When they landed, they found 14 helpless pups in the nearby dens – infant wolves just weeks old – and methodically shot each one in the head. 28 wolves gunned down in all.

Due to a loophole in federal law, Alaska is the only state in the U.S. where a few hunters still use aircraft to shoot wolves or chase them to exhaustion before landing and shooting them point blank. But the practice of "denning" – the killing of wolf young in the den – is prohibited even under Alaska law. This killing of 14 wolf pups disturbs even longtime hunters in Alaska.

During her two years as governor, Sarah Palin proposed a $150 bounty for the severed foreleg of each killed wolf and introduced legislation to make it even easier to use aircraft to hunt wolves and bears. But it's time that Governor Palin call for a thorough investigation into the killing of these 14 wolf pups, and bring any Alaska employees who acted illegally to justice.

Governor Palin presents herself as a pro-ethics reform politician. Please sign our petition to hold her accountable to her promises and send an email to your friends to spread the word.

Dear Governor Palin,

I am appalled by reports that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game illegally killed 14 wolf pups as part of their efforts to boost caribou numbers and that they intentionally excluded this information from a June 30 press release. This cover up only further diminishes the public's faith and trust in the department's ability to properly manage wolves and bears and follow the law.

Governor Palin, you have presented yourself in the media as a politician who stands for comprehensive ethics reform in government. Thus, I urge you to call for a thorough investigation into the June "denning" and killing of 14 wolf pups in Game Management Unit 9, and to ensure that any Alaska Department of Fish and Game employees who acted illegally be brought to justice.

Predator reduction efforts deserve careful scrutiny and justification. This is the first time in more than 20 years that department biologists shot and killed wolves from the air and the first time that it has killed pups in their den. Alaska law prohibits the killing of pups in their dens as part of a predator reduction effort.

What's more, the state itself advised the Board of Game in January of 2008 that it should reject a proposal that sought to allow killing in the den. So, clearly the state is aware the practice is illegal even as part of a predator control effort. Had this predator control program been scientifically and legally based it would not have been conducted at a time of year when wolves are tending to newly born offspring, making the illegal killing of pups in the den inevitable.

If you truly believe in government reform, you must apply it in all circumstances of the law. Those responsible for the 'denning' must be held accountable just as any person who acts outside of the law would be fined and jailed for an illegal action.

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