In recent news, moderately-talented actress Ashley Judd has joined forces with the Washington lobbyist group Defenders of Wildlife, in order to “expose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s renewed anti-conservation agenda.” Judd goes on to say
“I am outraged by Sarah Palin’s promotion of this cruel, unscientific and senseless practice [aerial hunting of wolves] which has no place in modern America. Because she is apparently determined to continue and expand this horrific program, I am grateful that Defenders will aggressively fight to stop her. I am proud to be a part of that effort.” [I’m not going to link to the site, you can find it easily enough just by searching.]
She reads her script well, but if she actually did even a modicum of research, she might discover that Governor Palin is simply carrying out the requirements of the Alaska state constitution, which among other things, requires that Alaska’s resources, including its fish and wildlife, be managed for the maximum benefit of Alaskans.”
Imagine that! A state constitution which requires that the state’s resources be managed for the benefit of its citizens!
And why, you ask, does this mean that poor wolves have to be senselessly and cruelly slaughtered, apparently by the thousand, or million, or gazillion, or whatever mind-boggling number Miss Activist/Actress is imagining?
Well, to explain all this, it will take at least three more paragraphs and I’ll have to use multi-syllabic big words.
It’s because A) Alaska is a gazillion square miles of territorry and it’s at least two gazillion miles away from the rest of the United States, and B) Alaskans are pretty much the original eco-friendly live-off-the-land greenie types who actually practice what Hollywood preaches. Many, if not most, Alaskans hunt moose, caribou and other game for subsistence, thereby avoiding such eco-hazards as having to ship large quantities of food from gazillions of miles away, using transportation and gas and oil and all those other pollutants, not to mention the killing, processing, packaging, and all those other nasty non-green/non-vegan things that have to be done to meat and stuff to make it safe to eat. Plus, for Alaskans, getting stuff up there is expensive!
This means that many Alakans hunt and kill moose and caribou to eat. Wolves also do this. Gov. Palin believes (and the Alaska constitution suggests) that it’s better for the citizens to be able to eat moose and caribou than for some of the wolves to do so.
Governor Palin also believes that it’s better for Alaska’s ecological balance, if there were fewer wolves and more moose and caribou so that the Alaskan people AND the rest of the wolves have enough moose and caribou to eat. The governor also believes that it is far kinder to quickly dispatch with bullets the few wolves killed rather than have them trying to gnaw off their own legs in traps, or to be posioned (and subsequently to poison other scavenger animals), which is also how the wolf (and other predator) populations can be regulated. And being mindful of the delicate balance of her state’s extraordinary range of eco-systems, predator control is currently only practiced on 9% of Alaska’s total land mass (areas shown in red on map). No mass wolf slaughter here.
Miss Judd, you are either a simpleton or you are willfully blind, ignoring any ideas that don’t fit in with your agenda. If I were you, I’d give Gov. Palin a quick call and ask her to explain the state’s wildlife policies to you. I bet she’d be glad to do it. And you might make a new friend.