Hunter Objects to State's Aerial Wolf Killing Policy

Letter to the Editor / Juneau Empire / February 22, 2004

I am writing to protest the aerial grey wolf killing program that has begun in Alaska. It is beyond comprehension that this abhorrent policy was ever instituted. The grey wolves of Alaska have lived in a symbiotic relationship with the caribou and moose for a millennia.

There is a much more sinister plot behind the killing of the wolves. It has to do with the hunting/tourist lobby who have some of the Legislature in their back pocket and, of course, the governor of Alaska signed this legislation into law.

The citizens of Alaska need to make their wishes known and make their best protest at the ballot box and get rid of these officials who are behind this brutal massacre. Fair hunting is one thing, but to fly and run a wolf until they collapse so some so-called hunter with the bucks to pay the so-called guides can get out of the aircraft, walk over and shoot this exhausted, magnificent animal for his trophy case. How they can do this and still call themselves sportsmen is beyond belief.

It is without a doubt one of the most cruel of the many ways that the grey wolves of Alaska and their brethren in the Lower 48 states are again being exterminated.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton and all who are on her staff are in an all-out effort to have the grey wolf removed from the endangered species list and to turn back all the environmental gains that have been made in the past 30 years.

Please, for the sake of decency and fairness to the grey wolves of Alaska, stop this aerial killing program.

Just for the record, I am a gun owner and I am pro-gun. I hunt deer and turkey, and eat what I hunt or feed the hungry. But I cannot be silent concerning America's grey wolves, grizzly and brown bears, and the North American mountain cougar and Florida panther. These are not game animals. These magnificent creatures are indigenous to their habitats that man has encroached upon. Citizens of Alaska and the Lower 48, contact the Natural Resources Defense Council and see what you can do to help so our grandchildren and their grandchildren can enjoy these American creatures - not going to museums to see stuffed extinct animals.

Please help. Only each citizen can make a difference against the government.

Anthony G. Yates / Winston-Salem, N.C.

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