Pitting Alaska - Killing Wolves and Grizzlies

Ok, new topic. Here’s a “before the fact” pitting. So if this issue is near and dear to your heart, you can easily find opportunities to take action (won’t be listing any here, as that might be a conflict).

Here’s one description of recent events in Alaska.

More details from a wolf-friendly site:

Let’s call this a pitting of Alaska’s Governor (for not honoring his citizens’ wishes), of trophy hunting in general (because it’s crass) and of human beings who don’t want to give other species space to live and resources to survive (because there’s a lot of evidence that human beings aren’t all that superior after all - see other Pit threads as my cite on that one).

Please note that I do acknowledge that the wolves in question are not a threatened species, and that grizzlies are not endangered within Alaska.

I’ll also acknowledge that I’ve never been to Alaska and don’t understand people there, so perhaps someone could enlighten me.

Hunters in planes?
Excuse me, but that is not hunting, any more than “hunting” animals in a fenced in area would be. Hunting is supposed to be about being out in the open, tracking, chasing, bringing back what you bagged, the whole experience. It is not just about shooting something. If there are not enough moose, then maybe fewer licenses should be issued, or the open season should be shorter. If the voters of Alaska have already made their feelings known, then maybe they should do so again. Shooting wolves and bears will not do any magical things to bring back moose or deer. Deciding to not overhunt them will. We already learned that in the lower 48. Fewer predators meant the deer population jumped. Then there was not enough of the right land to support them. They crowded more and disease and starvation and “winter kill” increased. If “certain state officials flout public opinion to appease hunters” well then maybe those officials need to be fired.
I used to hunt, and I can tell you, sitting on your ass in an airplane blasting away at shit is NOT hunting.

So that hunters can kill them???

EEP!

:eek:

…but what if the wolverines attack your cousins??

Yes Spooje.

Shooting from a plane is a form hunting. In this case, it’s an efficient government managed method of controlling predators. It’s done by both the federal and state government in some states. And also on private land.

I continue to be saddened that the mental disease of animal rights continues to take its toll on a once normal America. Thank goodness that some states and their residents like Alaska and Alaskans have a basic sense of normalcy.

Due to decreasing deer populations and bighorn sheep populations in my state, cougar hunting has been expanded to help the populations grow. Increased cougar kills have already benefited the bighorn sheep populations.

Okay, I’m probably more pro-hunting than the next guy. I’ve never gone hunting myself, but I support people’s rights to dress up in camo, go out in the freezing cold, shoot something and then do something (preferably involving a big pot) with the carcass.

That being said; shooting a predator species from an airplane in order to boost a population of prey species (which will, in turn, be hunted) just doesn’t seem right to me. Hell, if wolves are getting to be a problem, just open a hunting season on 'em. Surely there are 900 people in Alaska who would get a wolf tag. And if there aren’t enough people in Alaska, there must be enough people in this country who would take a trip to Alaska to shoot a wolf. That’s tourism money!

Also, Machetero: The mental illness of animal rights?. Fuck you, and everyone who looks like you.

…but…they’re headed right for us!!!
:smiley:

Sigh…

Long and bloody (sorry, no pun intended) fight of Alaskans against Alaskans. I love to quote the idiocy of one of our officials who, the first time the aerial kill debate started really gaining speed (mid 90s) said to his detractors “Well, we can’t just let nature run wild”.

I swear to God. I know, I know. We vote our little hearts out, and try to get fur and feathers to see reason. Back in the early 90s we had a really horrible winter. Seriously colder than normal temps and deep, deep unrelenting snowfalls.

Moose were dying right and left from starvation. See, they need a certain amount of willow tips to keep them alive during cold weather. But if they have to slog through too deep of snow trying to get to the willow (their main source of food), then they burn more calories than they can get from the food they eventually get to, and basically they just can’t keep going and starve.

Alaskans were frantically trying to convince the F&G to drop alfalfa, but Nooooo, they knew better than we laypeople, and they kept on telling the citizens, 'we can’t, that’s not part of their primary diet, it wouldn’t do any good". And so on.

Anyone who’s lived on a farm, or has had horses knows that alfalfa is a really good high calorie dense food, excellent for grazers. It would have been better than nothing.

And F&G finally decided to start dropping alfalfa bales. Something like three months after most of the previous year’s calves had all succumbed to starvation. And now they are saying that there’s a shortage of moose. Hmmmmmmmm, wonder why folks? Your incredible screw up 10 years ago?

At any rate, there are a lot of us who live here, even many of the hunters who are against the aerial hunts, and the more recently passed bear baiting bill. But, there were more selfish unsporting morons who voted against us.

Sorry, we tried. But not all of us are idiots. We’ll keep on trying.

Sorry, I forgot to add in all the junk about subsistance. See, the native population in Alaska have some serious rights. They’ve got powerful corporations set up to protect their native rights.

They didn’t get hosed like the American indian did. So a lot of this work to ensure a suitable amount of available prey animals is to fulfill the rights of native subsistance rights.

What I know about how all the subsistance regulations work though wouldn’t fill a thimble, so for more info if you’re interested, I think off the top of my head, that the state page web addy is www.state.ak.org

What the fuck are you talking about?

Animal rights is a form of mental illness? That has got to be just about the dumbest fucking thing I have ever read at SDMB.

Don’t you realize that animal rights are so closely intertwined with human rights that to abuse them is to abuse ourselves? That the same issues that threaten them threaten us?

Aren’t you aware that without rational, thoughtful controls we would’ve killed off even more species than are already endangered?

More basically, don’t you know that the lack of empathy for animals is a strong indicator of sociopathic tendencies?

Your “once normal” America is a place where barbarism struggles with reason every day. We’ve done heinous things in the past and continue to do them now.

You are a stupid person.

Canvas, if you don’t mind a direct inquiry and slight hijack - you remarked in another thread that you were in support of drilling in ANWR. I was stunned to read this. I thought about opening a thread to ask you about it, but didn’t want to pit you. Would you mind explaining your remark here?

Thanks for the details on the moose situation. There’s always more to the story than what us outsiders hear.

Fessie,

You’re a bunnyhugging and a treehugging idiot (against drilling in ANWR). You are making as logical arguments as a Klucker does about Mud People. You don’t give a fuck about the over predation. You just hate the mean hunters who do more for the enviroment and endangered species than any ARAs and non- politically correct management practices. Since SD is full of extreme far left wing idots, you’re probably in good company here. But there are some normal Americans left who won’t buy animal cruelty nonsense on perfectly acceptable normal behavior. Try making the argument that an increased taking of predators isn’t necessary, and backing with a non-bunnyhugging source. Hell, it might be right.

Canvas Shoes,

Stuff changes in ten years. Predators can increase and cause depredation problems when there was starvation 10 years ago. I understand not finding it as sporting hunting from the stalk. But it is supposed to be a special circumstance type of instance.

I’m not going to touch this argument, since I don’t feel like being called names today. But I do have one point of interest regarding the initiatives that have been on past ballots regarding aerial wolf control and bear baiting. These measures have been what are called ‘citizen initiatives’, which are provided for in the state constitution. When legislators refuse to listen to the constituency, said folks can get enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot in spite of the bastards.

In the last election, the Republicans put a measure on the ballot to restrict that right by making it much more difficult to get a citizen initiative put on future ballots. This being a Republican state, it was approved by those who had no idea what they were voting for. So future initiatives indicating the will of the people will be much less likely to appear, including those restricting things like aerial wolf control.

CavasShoes: I believe it was our own RepresentativeDon Young who made that idiotic remark.

fessie: two questions (for which I’m sure I’ll be sorry I asked) - have you ever been to the Arctic Refuge? Do you actually know anything about it, other than that it’s being used as a political hot potato? Most who gnash their teeth about ANWR are doing so because of what they’ve been told by politicians who have no clue as to what they’re talking about either.

Well, it’s not my thread, so if the OP asks us to stop, we will right?

But anyway, first off, my primary job is at an environmental company. Some people confuse this to mean that I’m an environmentalist. It’s not at all the same thing. Environmental techs and PMs are the ones who actually go out and do the dirty work of fixing old environmental problems, AND in assisting companies who may produce hazmat, in compliance with EPA and so on.

We’re not the useless gits who float around in boats (which use PETROLEUM by the way) in our brightly colored (dyed by by-products of petro/gas) yelling at people in drilling stations just trying to do their jobs. The environmental companies in AK are generally contracted to oil companies, or state, fed or local agencies. With some private industries here and there (auto shops, that sort of thing).

A lot of my career has been spent working for contracts with BP, ARCO and smaller support companies in Prudhoe Bay. All this is outlined in that other thread, (sorry, I don’t remember the name of it).

Our company also works for the military in cleaning up WWII contamination at “White Alice” sites in remote areas of Alaska. The old soldiers who were stationed there didn’t know any better back then. Now we do, and we’re correcting those problems. We do actual cleanup, such as removing old abandoned materials and contaminated sites investigations and corrections. We also do human risk assessment and subsistance animals tissue sampling (we send the tissues to bio labs to assess if they have heavy metal contamination, stuff like that).

I think I explained what I know about ANWR in the thread where someone pitted the melting of the ice caps, and the relation to possibly opening ANWR.

I support ANWR because I know the industry, and I know that the propaganda and Hype that organizations like Greenpeace spreads is a bunch of horse hoooey. I’ve never worked IN in and oil company, the company I work for provides work assisting them in environmental compliance on a contract basis. If that makes sense. It’s an important economical industry to Alaskans, and IMHO, it’s a way to reduce our dependance on foreign oil.

I do ALSO believe that alternate energy sources should be developed. But it seems as if people beating this drum seem to think that that is somehow the oil industry’s job to do. Which I find perplexing. The sciences that go into drilling and renewing drilling resources are vastly different from the physics sciences that would go into developing say, cold fusion or the like. It seems as if some folks want the oil industry to drop what they’re doing instantly, and JUST as instantly, magically produce this/these “alternate energy source(s)”. And what are we to do in the meantime? Horse drawn carriages and wood heat? (you Californians can do that if you like, I for one am NOT getting on a horse when it’s 20 below)

One is not mutually exclusive of the other. While we’re waiting for NASA, or whatever agency does have the science and know-how to produce this as yet not developed alternate energy source, it is necessary to do something. And this is what is available to us now.

Then, we’ve got the “use public transportation, cut down on your own use, etc etc etc”. Well, I personally DO use public transportation, and it’s much better than it used to be, but it’s not practical for a large percentage of people in my city. It doesn’t even come within 5 miles of several areas here. I just happen to live in a good area where there is a hub of sorts. I’m near the Ak Native Hosp. and if there’s one thing Alaska’s politicos do do, it’s make sure the native population is WELL taken care. (sorry, I digress).

It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to curtail their lives. It would be nice if everyone would carefully plan every outing to use the very least amount of fuel possible, and to use only tiny cars (hmmmm, ever try to load several peewee hockey players and their 90 pound bags into a Honda Civic? :D). But it’s not realisitic.

Right now I’m able to use the bus. But I just recently returned home after a sabbatical in Texas, as I add classes (my second job is as a fitness/dance instructor), this won’t be possible. The bus schedule won’t allow me to get me and my sound equipment to all of the classes, then back to my “regular” job on time.

And I’m just one person. Who is to say whose life or schedule is “worthy” of being allowed to use more fuel, or travel more distance in their vehicle during the course of their day to day lives.

So, I don my Tyvek, and clean up old problems. I sit at my computer and write (and assist in putting into practice and monitoring), contingency plans for companies in Alaska so that old behaviour is not repeated. And I do support the exploration of ANWR, because I was one of many who assisted in the environmentally safe drilling and operations procedures at Prudhoe, I know that even more modern and effective regulations will be put into place if there IS enough oil found there.

As I said in the other thread. The proposed exploration site (remember, they don’t even know for certain if it’s a viable production site), is in a tiny little, less than 1% gravel beach in the northwest corner of ANWR.

On the southeast corner of this beach, a small portion of the Porcupine caribou herd’s calving grounds exist. Caribou in the herd do not all calve at once, nor do they all pick THAT very spot in ANWR to calve when they do.

In addition, just like in Prudhoe, animarl protection and non-hazing (employees are not allowed to have ANYTHING to do with the animals, if you so much as try to get one’s attention so as to get a picture, you could be terminated from your job), regulations will be in place.

These regulations would include, but not be limited to such items as stopping operations during calving season, onhand F&G personnel to assist the oil companies in compliance and information.

I have complete confidence in the proposed production companies AND in the contractor companies (such as mine) that they use to assist them in keeping the environment safe.

Like Prudhoe, there will also be written and mandatory regulations in place for the eventual removal of the drilling operation (if they do discover a viable site). This includes buildings that sit on stilts (there are a few ops bldgs that have pads, such as motor pool, this is to provide proper drain tanks and so on), again, geological personnel that assist them with the land and how to return it to the original condition once production is exhausted and so on.

Though I doubt that in ANWR this would be nearly as time consuming as it iwill be in Prudhoe, since Prudhoe is on tundra and the ANWR site is on gravel.

To the OP, Sorry for the hijack.

fesssie, did I answer your question? (sorry, I’m so longwinded for a blonde :D).

This is true, and what I know about hunting wouldn’t fill up a thimble. :smiley:

My point wasn’t so much cause and effect (sorry if I gave that impression) but more the ongoing idiocy of our F&G. I am not against hunting at all. Heck, except for a long visit to the strange land of Texas, I’ve lived here for 34 years, and was raised from the age of 11 here.

We weren’t all that well off when I was a kid, so we ate a LOT of moose and salmon (uuuuuggggh, didn’t like it then, HATE them now, along with all the fanatical “fish or die” Alaskans), but I dont’ at ALL begrudge other Alaskans’ rights to hunt and fish.

I just disagree with it the aerial hunting and bear baiting because to me, that’s NOT hunting. It’s…sneaky, unsporting, lazy, cheating. And when used for increasing prey animals to be hunted…well, that’s just playing God IMHO.

Dress up in your camos and orange vests, go out and hunt like a man!!! grr

Like the hunters did for the passenger pigeon, Tasmanian wolf, Mexican wolf, great auk, bison, wolves in the lower 48, grizzlies in the power 48, etc? Most hunters do care. Unfortunately, a few others don’t care as long as they get to kill something. The over-fed “businessmen” who patronize fenced in “preserves” are a great example of that. They fly in, blast something, and fly back out the same day. Some sport. Most real hunters are disgusted by them.

As Canvas said, over predation had nothing to do with it, it was the abnormally harsh winter. If you know anything about predators, then you would know that when the prey animals suffer, so do their predators.

No scientific evidence. So where are these so-called airplane “hunters” getting their data? I call bullshit. If they really want to hunt, let them slog in by foot, the old fashioned way. Let them pit their skills against their prey. That is hunting.

PS to fessie.

The polar ice caps thread has a link to some pictures by a Prudhoe Bay employee. One pic shows pretty well how the buildings are set into place to have a minimal impact on the tundra.

Several others show the animals happily using our facilities for their own happy little lives.

Lastly, just an aside and small laugh for everyone. There was a public TV movie out sometimes in the 90s produced by Greenpeace (sorry I only saw it, I don’t remember the name), in which they sobbingly alluded to the destruction of the Prudhoe Bay area by showing how “all the trees have been cut down”.

I guess you had to be there, but it’s hilarious, considerng that there ARE no trees in that part of Alaska. Never have been. Never WILL be.

[sam kinnison]This is TUNDRAn…aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!! Know what it’s going to be in a million years??? TUNDRA…AAaaaaahhh AAAAAAAHHH AAAAAAH"[/sam kinnison]

:smiley:

Okay, others probably won’t find it as funny as I did, but you get the picture. Can you say “propanganda” ?

Machetero My sincere congratulations - you’re now a nominee for the most mean-spirited ignorant fuckhole on these boards. I generally don’t post much (just read the stuff for amusement value), but I can’t let your rants (I almost used the word “argument”, but dropped it once I realized that a true argument requires at least some knowledge and logic) slide, so here goes:

And you, if you can’t see the wrong in something like this, are a vile sadistic piece of crap who (in all seriousness) probably needs professional help. A good ass-kicking might not be a bad idea either, but I digress…

What the Hell is this supposed to mean? “Normal America” also used to mean women were little more than subservient breeding machines, kids could be forced to work in the mines for 12 hours a day, and you could whip the shit out of your nigga if he didn’t pick you enough cotton - maybe you’re nostalgic for all those good old days as well? The fact that more and more people are beginning to listen to scientific data - which has been accumulating for decades - that at least some animals do possess some degree of consciousness (and, therefore may deserve some form of “rights”) is not a “mental illness”; it’s growth. Wolves, with their complex behaviors and social structure, are one of the species that have led to this realization.

I will freely admit that there are some gray areas in the animal rights debate, but this isn’t one of them. This isn’t using monkeys for research to cure some horrible human disease - this is blasting away at one helpless (and intelligent, and very possibly, conscious at some level) animal purely because it’s interfering with your ability to maximally blast away at another. Killing so as to allow the greatest amount of further killing, nothing more.

Aerial gunning is based on using small planes to separate individuals from the pack, chasing them to the point of exhaustion in order to get an easier shot, and then blasting away. Note that if you don’t kill with the first shot, and have managed to down the animal in an area in which you can’t land your plane, it just lays there until it dies on its own. Wolf pups and bear cubs, from what I’ve found, are fair game. If this all meets your definition of “normal behavior”, I really hope you ain’t raising any kids, 'cause you’re one seriously sick motherfucker. What do you do in your spare time - set kittens on fire?

In fact (as you’d have seen if you’d bothered to read the fucking OP), Alaskans have rejected this particular barbarity not once but twice, most recently in 2000. An initiative that banned aerial gunning passed 54%-46%. This initiative was then promptly tossed out the window by Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski, a particularly sorry shithead who’s never met a trophy hunter, chainsaw, or oil drill that he didn’t like (honestly, I think he whacks off to photos of clearcut forests). He’s “serving” two special interests (you know, those people only Democrats kowtow to).

First, and most obvious, are the out-of-state trophy hunters (read: sickos whose dicks don’t work unless they have a wall full of dead animals, particularly big, scary-looking ones). Second, as I understand things, are the hermits for whom living in Alaska in the first place isn’t getting far enough away from it all - people who choose (note my underlining of the word) to live in and around places like the town of McGrath (the epicenter of one or the management units at the forefront of this debate) - 300 miles from Anchorage, 400+ from Fairbanks, with (according to Yahoo! maps) approximately one grocery store every 50 miles. Unfortunately, when you choose to live this far outside of the normal food-supply chain, hamburger at whatever passes for a Piggly-Wiggly up there can get damn expensive. No problem, we’ll just live off the moose!

Unfortunately, that can only be done if you artificially overpopulate the moose, which brings me to:

OK. For more info. The gist of what you’ll find there is this: Murkowski’s predecessor (Tony Knowles) appointed an independent commission to study the whole issue a few years ago. Their conclusion (which I’m assuming was based at least somewhat on science) was that the McGrath unit should support 3,000-3,500 moose, with a sustainable annual harvest of 130-150. This, however, didn’t jibe with the Board of Game’s “objective” of 6,000-8,000 moose in the unit, a figure which is no doubt derived from, and I quote, “the Legislature’s intensive management law, which mandates that wildlife be managed to keep game populations as high as possible” (emphasis mine). This is, I repeat, not predator control for the sake of protecting moose which are otherwise in jeopardy - this is predator annihilation to stop their interference with our desire to “harvest” the number of moose which we deem necessary.

Ummm, all other things being equal, predator species don’t usually increase when their prey populations are in decline. It’s called ecology - ever heard of it?

Thus, it’s also illustrative to look at why moose populations in Alaska have declined to the point that predator control even appears necessary. ESPN outdoors (admittedly not the most scientific site, but probably not a bunch of rabid “wolf-huggers” either) says this:

“…Many argue that habitat is the key. Wildfires normally preserve the shrubby habitat moose need to survive. Increased efficiency in controlling fires means more adult trees and less moose browse. Hungry moose in turn move into areas that can sustain them, which today means urban areas and right-of-ways along railroad tracks and highways. Some of the best moose habitat is near roads. This last year, with a record snowfall, there were 1322 moose-vehicle crashes in Alaska”.

In other words, total suppression of fires, which is usually only pursued in a case like this to protect our full access to timber, is creating habitat less suitable for moose. If that’s the case, you can take a fuckin’ bazooka to every wolf and bear in the state, it ain’t gonna help.

There’s also mounting evidence that global warming (which is, in general, proceeding more rapidly in polar regions - see for example www.healthandenergy.com/baked_alaska.htm) is allowing new pathogens and vectors to take hold, resulting in new moose diseases. Ticks, for example, multiply faster and are more active in warmer temperatures (www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040305073726.htm), and there have been anecdotal reports from Inuit hunters of diseased moose with, among other symptoms, unusually runny bone marrow (sorry, couldn’t find the cite for this one). Again, you can blast every wolf you can find; it ain’t gonna change this problem either.

Hopefully, this has at least helped to clear up your ignorance. Unfortunately, it probably won’t do anything to help you grow a heart…

Hey - my Hubby finally joined :smiley:

Thanks for the info, Canvas - I didn’t follow the melting thread (I saw your remark about ANWR somewhere else) so I’m sorry I evidently requested redundant information! Haven’t read it all yet, the babies are a real handful today.