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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

23 Responses to Defenders attacks Palin for pushing aerial hunting of wolves and bears

  1. avatar bdighello says:

    i was going to vote for mccain now with this wolfkiller my vote goes to obama,the world needs to know the truth about her

  2. avatar Alan Gregory says:

    She reminds me of the so-called hunters in the old movie “Hatari!”, gunning after African critters.

  3. avatar vicki says:

    she is an equal opportunity animal anialater, bears and other predators suffer as a result of her politics too.

  4. avatar JB says:

    If Defenders and other conservation groups really want to push this issue, we may see wildlife policy/politics become part of the debate in a presidential race.

  5. avatar timz says:

    “If Defenders and other conservation groups really want to push this issue, we may see wildlife policy/politics become part of the debate in a presidential race.”

    I think they should air that video in prime time. I just returned from Alaska and after talking to alot of locals I was sure that their ballot initiative to ban it would pass last Tuesday. It didn’t and the sponsors say it was mainly because they were out spent and campaigned by Palin and her administration.

  6. Apparently (I haven’t read the language), the language was somewhat confusing and some people didn’t know what “yes” meant or what “no” meant, and they might have voted incorrectlyl

  7. avatar timz says:

    You are correct Ralph I heard some of that after the vote.

  8. ALASKA BALLOT MEASURE 2
    Bill Amending Same Day Airborne Shooting
    BALLOT LANGUAGE
    This bill amends the current law banning same-day airborne shooting to include grizzly bears. The bill permits the Board of Game to allow a predator program for wolves and grizzly bears if the Commissioner of Fish and Game finds an emergency, where wolves or grizzly bears in an area are causing a decline in prey. Only employees of the Department of Fish and Game could take part in the program. Only the minimum number of wolves or grizzly bears needed to stop the emergency could be removed.
    Should this initiative become law? ( ) Yes ( ) No
    +—-+ (If you want restrictions on the shooting of bears and wolves from the air, you would want to vote “yes” on this measure. It’s easy to see how the wording does not make that obvious, however.)

    Thanks Doug
    . RM

  9. avatar Izabela says:

    Someone has to stop the old man!!!
    He lost his old brain!!!
    I think we need to spread the real new about Sarah Palin
    I talk to all people I can, I hope the word gets out
    And stupid press concentrates on her preganant daughter..
    who cares…
    lets talk issues!!!!!
    issues important to all who brain to understand the consequences of drilling and killing…and destroying our planet
    There will be nothing left after this duo leaves the White house..

  10. avatar John says:

    Cause of Prey Decline (in order from largest to smallest effect):

    1. Weather
    2. Lack of Vegetation
    3. Disease
    4. Humans/habitat loss due to development
    5. Natural Predators

    To point out specifically the fundamental flaw with the ‘damages to prey population’ statement. Herbivores are managed effectively by the resident population of carnivores like bears and wolves, predators are then controlled by prey populations – all is hunky-dory. They perform this role so well that humans (an introduced species) can only play little or no part in ‘management’ activities, thus it forms a perceived problem because ‘obviously’ humans need to be able to hunt mass quantities of prey in order for the ecosystem to be healthy. In order to solve this perceived problem, humans eliminate predators to manipulate prey populations regardless of the effects it has on the resident vegetation, landscapes, behaviour of prey and other smaller wildlife so that humans can then participate.

    Too cynical?

  11. avatar Barb says:

    There is just something sooo annoying about Sarah Palin I can’t put my finger on — is it arrogance, religious zeal, what? She keeps saying “Hillary left 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling…” Hillary and Palin could not be more opposite. It makes me sick when she says that — the wolf killer. Thanks for posting ballot issue by the way, Doug. Fox News is fawning all over her. Rush Limbaugh predicts Obama is going to dump Obama. Either way, if McCain gets in, the wolf issue is going to end up in the natiional spotlight. And it won’t look pretty to most Americans.

  12. avatar jerry b says:

    I realize the focus is aerial wolf killing in Alaska, but does everyone just accept all the aerial killing that’s going on in Montana?
    Last week they wiped out the Willow Creek Pack and now they’re aerial gunning the Murphy Lake Pack.
    Damn! Why the silence??

  13. I just did a post on this Jerry.

  14. avatar Kestrel says:

    For more on Governor Sarah Palin’s environmental record. look here (and look often!): http://planetpalin.wordpress.com

  15. avatar Barb says:

    This infuriates me — in Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, anywhere!

    How DARE they get away with brutalizing these magnificent creatures?

    Anyone who could do this to any animal is not a human in my mind.

  16. avatar Izabela says:

    Barb,
    “How DARE they get away with brutalizing these magnificent creatures? ”

    Most of people :
    1. have no clue as to what’s going on
    2. does not care because if it not in their backyard
    3. have familly to feed and that’s more important
    4. listens to wrong sources
    5.gives up because they think they can’t change anything

  17. avatar John says:

    Looked up something interesting the other day, it costs $3000 (Canadian) to kill wolves in winter in Alberta.

    This includes lodgings and… let’s not forget… ALCOHOL.

  18. avatar RE Chizmar says:

    Well one good thing is that on CNN w/ Anderson Cooper (keeping them honest) a couple nights ago they featured Palin’s “environmental” policies-stance by running and directly referencing the Defenders Website (and they showed nearly the entire aerial VIDEO!) — and the story provided commentary from an Alaska Biologist who (a) strongly refuted Palin and other proponents claim that the kills were justified b/c of the declining-decimated caribou herds — a great source of hunting income for “some” Alaskans and (b) after mentioning the lack of care for beluga whales, mining over salmon, contesting the listing of the polar bear, promoting the killing of polar bears, they asked the same biologist to comment on her environmental record – he said “abysmal!” so at least the issue got some coverage — I note that aerial gunning was mentioned on MSNBC last night but Pat Buchanan laughingly stated “well you should see what they do to the moose” — a suggestion that wolves deserve to be killed for actually doing what is necessary to, you know, stay alive.

  19. avatar Barb says:

    People that have no regard for animals generally have no regard for people either.

    In fact, those that hurt animals intentionally are statistically more apt to hurt people too.

  20. avatar Annette says:

    I have to admit that watching videos of this practice turns my stomach, but there would surely be consequences to many animal species, including wolves and humans, if effective wildlife management practices were banned. Let us not forget what happened in this country when horse slaughter was banned. The resulting surplus of horses has resulted in plummeting horse values, and horses being abandoned and neglected in record numbers. Now, perfectly healthy and well trained horses are selling at auction for less than $200, and some are being purchased by kill buyers for shipment to Mexico where there are no industry controls, and the barbaric cruelty being employed is beyond this writer’s imagination. I would have to say that there has never been a worse time to be a horse in this country. These are the unintended consequences of well meaning animal activists that failed to look at the big picture.

    Before anyone starts sending hate mail, please hear me out. Wolves and bears are top line predators, meaning that there are no natural predators to control their numbers. If you love animals, you must think about the consequences to other animal species if they are allowed to overpopulate in any given area. In a worst case scenario, disaster ensues for the overpopulated predator species as well. When their natural food sources become scarce, they will savage and prey on not only each other, but humans and domestic animals as well.

    Aerial management may seen unfair and barbaric, but consider the alternative that was used before airplanes were available. They were poisoned with strychnine baits. Poisoning likely affected non targeted species as well – such as eagles.

    Alaska has attempted other management methods in the past. See: http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/management/control/predator_management.pdf

    Now let us discuss the impact of these predator species on humans. There seems to be a misconception that managing the population of these species is merely an attempt to preserve moose and caribou for sport hunting. On the contrary, the very lives and existence of approximately 16% of Alaska’s populaton is at stake. These are the native tribes that have depended on wild game as their main source of sustenance for thousands of years. It’s not like they can become vegetarians in these regions. I might argue that the continued existence of rural native Alaskan people is at far greater risk than the wildlife.

    Taken from http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=5791&page=36 :

    “The first humans in the Western Hemisphere are believed to have come from Asia across the Beringian land bridge into Alaska 12,000-15,000 years ago.” It is their home, too. For those that argue that the problem is simply too many humans in Alaska rather than too many wolves and bears, let me point out that there are approximately 635,000 residents or about 1.1 persons per square mile – in an area that is twice the size of Texas and one fifth the size of the lower 48 states. In the lower 48, there are approximately 79 people per square mile. Plenty of elbow room! The state’s population ranks 47th in the nation. “Human activities have had less effect on the ecosystems of Alaska than elsewhere in the United States. Conversion of land to agricultural use has been minimal, as is the extent of land alteration through mining and petroleum development.”

    My conclusion: Perhaps you don’t care about the tribes of people who are the last remaining ancestors of the “First Americans”. Do you not care about all of the other animal species at stake when bears and wolves overpopulate? Is there no concern for livestock, dogs, cats, and human children that are attacked when these predators are allowed to diminish too much wild game in a given area? And finally, have you no concern for the affect on the wolves, themselves, when they overpopulate? Aside from them preying on each other when food sources become scarce, it leads to a natural progression of disease and starvation among them.

    Posted by Bronco in the Daily Interlake: “The waxing and waning of species populations are regulated by nature and she seems heartless and cruel in her choices at times. Forget romantic notions of her preserving only the animals we hold dear and erasing the invasive and ugly ones. Fish and game management agencies throughout the country have been employing well thought out agendas that have led to game populations that exceed those before we set foot here hundreds of years ago. Those agencies have people in them who are concerned for our wildlife, not butchers who rejoice in their deaths. It’s unfortunate for the wolves, I agree. They are beautiful, intelligent, animals that mate for life and have strong family values. But left to propagate unattended they will follow the course of all species who find their numbers swelled to overpopulation. Mother nature introduces disease and starvation.”

    Before we jump on the bandwagon and condemn the people of Alaska while sitting at computers in our urban homes, let us educate ourselves about the issues first

  21. avatar Kenny G says:

    It is shameful, that Palin, condones, even encourages this cold blooded murder of defenseless animals, and she calls it “sport”. What kind of person is she ? The right wingers think she will make a good VP, and they do not even care about any endangered animals, much less the freedoms that will be denied if McCain/Palin get elected. We need to make sure they do NOT get elected.

  22. avatar Kenny G says:

    addendum to my other comment: The comment above mine, from Annette, is so full of right wing CRAP, and rationalizes the brutal murder of these beautiful wolves and bears, it sickens me to no end. I think Annette should not condemn us, the people who actually care about he defenseless animals that are being hunted by low flying aircraft, and she in her self rightous attitude, must think we are all stupid, of course if a wolf or any other “predator”, including humans, were attacking my children, I would have to kill them, but cmon lady, that is such a crock of crap, to help rationalize this cold blooded murder, and she knows it !! DO NOT vote for these incredibly heartless people.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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