Sarah Palin’s soliloquy on Sunday must have been music to the ears of Alaska’s wolves. Goodbye in any language was the message they were waiting for. The erstwhile governor of Alaska (photo at right) has pursued a relentless policy of genocide against the state’s lupine population, including murderous helicopter attacks.
Now, nature lovers in Congress are moving to shield wolves – and other wildlife – from such future slaughter. California Congressman George Miller is introducing the Protect America’s Wildlife Act, which will close a loophole in federal law that allows the shooting of Alaskan wolves and other wildlife from airplanes and helicopters. Sen. Dianne Feinstein from California, Sen. Ben Cardin from Maryland and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island are introducing a similar bill in the Senate. More than 90 members of Congress have signed on as cosponsors.
Defenders of Wildlife, a national conservation group, is leading the fight for this bill, and the U.S. Humane Society is backing the effort.
By exploiting a loophole in the 1971 Airborne Hunting Act that permitted the use of aircraft for “wildlife management,” Palin decimated Alaska’s wolf and bear populations in more than 60,000 square miles. The motive was not just innate bloodthirstiness. There was money involved. By eliminating wolves and bears, the state could artificially boost its game populations – and bring in more revenue from hunters.
Palin’s poetic farewell was not without a parting shot at Alaska’s wolves and those who would defend them. She took time out from her litany of complaint against the media to snipe at the Defenders of Wildlife, which had raised money for a series of graphic ads and had initiated petitions to save the wolves from her wrath.
The wildlife group’s officials say they still have work to do. And they have launched a new campaign to raise funds for ads designed to drum up support in Congress for the Protect America’s Wildlife Act.
“With Palin gone, we’re even more determined to end cruel aerial gunning once and for all,” Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen declared in an appeal for donations today. “Please stand with us.”
For more on the fight to save America’s wolves, check out the Defenders of Wildlife site: