Two Dozen Wolf Protests Planned

AERIAL HUNTS: Demonstrations to push tourists to boycott state

The Associated Press / Anchorage Daily News / December 20, 2003

More than two dozen demonstrations are planned for the weekend after Christmas to urge people to boycott Alaska's $2 billion tourism industry.

The animal rights group Friends of Animals is organizing the demonstrations to protest Alaska's predator control program, which allows pilots and hunters to shoot wolves from airplanes. The state contends the program is necessary to increase the harvest of moose in Alaska's Interior.

The demonstrations will span the country, from Rockefeller Center in New York City to Union Square in San Francisco, according to the Darien, Conn.-based group. One of the protests will be in Ontario, Canada. The demonstrations are planned for Dec. 27-28.

"We deplore the killing of wolves to suit the convenience of moose hunters and to provide a thrill for pilots. Modern society should not tolerate this," Priscilla Feral, Friends of Animals president, said in a news release Friday.

The group, which says it has 200,000 members, was behind a successful campaign a decade ago that resulted in then-Gov. Wally Hickel imposing a moratorium on wolf control.

Feral said protesters will be given postcards to send to Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski, saying they won't choose Alaska as a tourist destination as long as the state insists on going forward with its wolf-killing program.

The state plans to kill about 40 wolves in a 1,700-square-mile area near the Interior town of McGrath, where residents have long complained that bears and wolves are eating too many moose. The Board of Game also has approved plans to kill about 100 wolves in the Nelchina basin early next year.

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