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Alaska Wolves Public Service Announcement

November 01, 2004 | Wolves

Friends of Animals would like to announce the release of a new public service announcement, now available. The name of the video is Alaska Wolves.

Alaska Wolves brings to viewers a dramatized scene of aerial wolf hunting. The practice was ended in Alaska in the 1970s, and the state’s residents have actually voted twice to end same-day use of aircraft for public wolf hunting and trapping. Yet pilots in search of prey have come back to haunt North American wolves under the Governor Frank Murkowski’s undemocratic leadership.



It is now clear that the Alaskans who want an end to the hunts need outside support. Alaska seems remote to many, but we believe that people will be motivated to intervene on behalf of the wolves once the world sees what is happening.

If you are a member of the media and are interested in airing this public service announcement copies can be made available upon request. Please email us at

Friends of Animals would like to thank the following individuals who contributed to the creation of this public service announcement: Chooi-Leng Tan, Todd Kuehnl, Arnold Gallardo, Scott Moran, Nathan Searles, Barbara LaRue, Leo Keeler, Dorothy Keeler, and Josh Schaerti.


Hi Lisa, As you welcome additional thoughts for your report, I'd like to share my view. Despite claims that Alaskan villagers must hunt moose to survive, they are indeed making a choice to eat moose, or hamburgers, or plant-based foods. Thus, their "subsistence" problem is one of their own creation. Besides that, moose, wolves, and other free-living animals can adjust their populations naturally when they are not hunted. So we need to reconsider how the choices we make can cause harm to ourselves and other animals, as well as our environment. Ellie

This is for the two Jeffs and anyone else who wants to 'manage' the ratios of wolves. Lets put something into perspective here, we don't go around managing the amounts of PEOPLE. When was the last time that you said, "there are too many PEOPLE living in Alaska...we need to do something about that!"The last time I checked, People weren't created to kill other things.

This is something I find needs immediate action! People weren't put on this earth to control the population, they were meant to expand it! If they want to hunt something go put two people in a moose costume! Why would they want to do this to such beautiful creatures? I pray that this will end soon, to their benefit and ours. Please give your support for those reading this page.

I travel to Alaska each year from Ireland to work the Iditarod and here I meet up with other volunteers from all over the world. Alaska must be one of the most beautiful places I've been to, but what disappoints and saddens me every time I go is that almost everyone I meet either wears fur (from whatever origin), is an active and avid purchaser of it, or hunts - it seems that nobody stops to consider anything aside from their own gratification and 'right' to decimate these resources as they see fit. For a place where, to my mind, the most incredible assets lie in nature including animals in their own habitats, I find this senseless plunder by its own citizens and people from outside unbelievable.

First, to the postings by the anti-wolf Jeff I would say after 36 years of living here and having hunted successfully in my younger years I found if I didn't get a moose or caribou it wasn't because there weren't any; I just wasn't skilled enough as a hunter. The kill rate (ever notice how hunters "harvest" while wolves "kill") of moose and caribou is far below their population numbers; they can often sustain more of a take. But the subsistence hunter success is poorer in part due to competition from the city hunters with ATV's, expensive riverboats, and planes. Too, even the genuine subsistence hunter isn't always doing their best. The folks at McGrath were complainig how they were going to starve for lack of moose at the same time a splinter herd of about 22,000 caribou were just 50 miles (which is easily traveled on a snowmachine) from the town. However, some just didn't prefer caribou, it seemed. When hunting season hits Alaska you see pick-ups almost in convoys along the highways hauling 1, 2, even 4 ATV's. The Tanana River campground outside of Fairbanks becomes a boat launching site that would almost rival the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. When I hunted, I'd spend 5 hours climbing up Macomb Plateau, however many hours hunting, and almost another 5 coming down the plateau. Now, you see hunters writing to complain about having to fly 100 miles in their private plane and then walk almost 2 hours (migosh!) to their bear-baiting station where they sit on their butts (which must occlude their thinking) waiting to ambush a bear while they teach the ones they don't shoot that human food is most desirable. In short, the modern hunter complains about not having moose but doesn't accept the responsibility of working for what they want. It's easier to kill off any competitors which, short term, works but long term can make for disastrous overpopulation, devegetation, increased animal/vehicle collisions and so forth. Second, the Alaska travel boycott. I wish it was working but it ain't. You've got Murkowski, enough of a dunderhead to not pay attention to that but to focus his mind on the support he would lose from the NRA/trappers/AOC bunch up here, and Ralph Seekins (and other legislators) who frankly don't care that twice Alaskans have voted down the very aerial hunting he has made possible. Again, he knows he can count on the anti-wolf influence, which sadly is quite strong in Alaskan politics right now. Might I suggest a different or alternate boycott? Seekins, the prime mover of anti-wolf legislation this session, is the state's biggest Ford dealer. Ford, as a company, is spending millions of dollars to present itself as environmentally friendly. What happens when potential customers go into Ford dealerships across the country, browse, then ask about how Ford can be environmentally concerned and at the same time one of their top dealerships is run by this Seekins fellow who is trying to wipe out the wolves and bears in Alaska? I think Ford would be a lot more sensitive to a boycott and the national attention it would garner than ol' Uncle Frank up here in Alaska. Run a couple well-placed ads in large newspapers asking this question and see how long Ralph can stand the heat. If that national pressure then comes back to bite ol' Ralph where he sits and thinks, even he might start to back off. Oh..and third, to Jeff the anti-wolfer...nowhere in the state of Alaska does the wolf population exceed its prey population. Even with their wildly inflated figures F&G puts the wolf pop. at a max of 11,200 (highly questionable; it's likely less by a couple thousand at least) while moose total over 125,000, caribou are over 1,000,000. Even Dall sheep are in the 25,000 range. You want to give moose and caribou populations a chance to really grow naturally? Cut down on the allowed use of motorized vehicles in hunting. You can drive the paved roads all you want but once you are off the pavement you are on foot. You'd see a lot of the weekend warriors fold up their tents and steal away to softer pursuits; you'd preserve core areas where moose, sheep, caribou are relatively safe from hunting; you'd make it more of a fair chase situation where, God forbid!, the hunter actually has to earn what he or she takes instead of just running it down on a 4-wheeler. BTW, having owned a couple of those I have to admit they are addictive but even with the best of intentions and the softest throttle hand they can chew the heck out of the tundra in seconds flat. There are 4-wheeler ruts in the moss up at Eagle Summt (on the Steese) that are still quite visible after 10 years and the trail into Colorado Creek off Chena Hot Springs Road has areas so badly rutted even a 4-wheeler gets stuck. As the trails get worse the treads get more aggressive and the ground suffers. Anyway...just some thoughts from someone who has lived here a goodly while, has lived both sides of the question, and who has a real deep worry about what is happening to Alaska. Thanks and let the rocks fly! *Grin* ...Art Greenwalt, in Fairbanks

PS: Heck, as to my boycott-Ford-and-Seekins idea, you can also go to the Ford Motor Company website and post a question to them along these lines. If you have the time and inclination making both a posting and a visit to ask these things of Ford would be doubly effective. I guarantee if enough potential customers are just asking these questions, Ford will sit up and take notice and maybe...just maybe...Ralph will have to make a decision he might not want to make. All it will take is one legislator like him being bitten hard enough and the rest will start to think twice about their own vulnerability in this regard. Our Alaskan politicians may not have the experience or sophistication as the more accomplished ones in the Lower '48 but I'll bet they can match them for basic venality any day of the year and that can be worked to help conserve Alaskan wildlife. ...Art

The "I don't think I'll buy a Ford today" campaign has begun. Very modestly, I'll admit, but from little acorns... I just finished sending an email to Ford in which I explained what I was doing and why. Prominent mention of Ralph Seekins, our newly-elected state senator here in Alaska as the progenitor of the spate of aerial hunting travesties took up most of the letter in describing the why and wherefor. In addition to whatever efforts you are making in conjunction with FOA and other groups, might I ask you also consider adding this to your "weaponry?" Just a short note letting them know Ford is spending mucho bucks on their environmental image, Seekins' efforts against wolves are certainly directly contrary to that image, and that a grassroots boycott of Ford could result should suffice. Just to give it a little sting, you might want to include the line "I don't think I'll buy a Ford today." They don't know if you were going to or not...but they will definitely know after reading what you have posted. Pass the word around. You can do this via email, by a visit to your local dealership, or by both, whichever suits your inclinations. Enough such comments to the company and its dealers and Mr. Seekins might come to regret his actions. If you have any question about the idea or the Alaskan wolf situation I would be glad to answer them via email to FOA has some excellent info available and I recommend their data and input especially when it is coming from Dr. Gordon Haber who has many decades of field research into wolves here in Alaska. I doubt there are many Ak. Fish and Game folks with his time and experience to their credit and probably even fewer trappers. Attend the howl-ins, help with the tourism boycott (it would work if enough get involved), and let Ford know you won't be buying a Ford today because of Ralph Seekins. Thanks! ...Art, in Fairbanks

I won't be buying a Ford today. But I will be writting to Ford and I will be sending a letter out to all our SPCA contacts and ask them to write to Ford. Thank you for this info Art. We will do all we can.

The Alaskan Iditarod, which is noted above, is an annual dog race which forces sled dogs to run 1,100 miles over the roughest terrain on earth. The event, which begins in Anchorage and ends in Nome, is sponsored by mega-corporations, so the media has chosen to promote it as fun. But nothing could be further from the truth. The Iditarod really begins in hundreds of Alaskan kennels where many more dogs are bred and trained than will ever run the race. Overbreeding is done deliberately, as this allows breeders and mushers to select the strongest and fastest among them. They cull or kill the rest. Dogs selected for training commonly live outside, even in the coldest Alaskan temperatures. They are often confined by teethers only 4 feet in length, which forces them to eliminate in the same area where they sleep. This is completely opposite canine natural behavior, and no doubt this causes them distress. In an attempt to free themselves, dogs frequently develop sores on their necks areas. They may also sustain neck injuries on the exercise wheel, a pre-training practice. During the Iditarod, dogs are raced over the course of 8 to 15 days, and are given little opportunity to rest. In 2004, 1000 dogs were lined-up for the event but only 50% made it to the finish-line. Until recently, there have been no records of how many dogs died during the race. But it's estimated that since 1997 at least 120 dogs have died during the Iditarod--from causes which include heart failure; pneumonia; strangulation on the towlines; and internal hemorhage. This figure speaks only for deaths reported. The actual number may be much higher. In addition, an Oklahoma State study of 59 surviving dogs found that 81% had developed lower-airway disease. Although the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine chose to call these findings a result of 'strenuous exercise in cold temperatures', it's obvious that subjecting dogs to the trauma of the Iditarod is far more than strenuous. There is no record of how many dogs have died after the race from varying conditions sustained while running. The Iditarod is a one of many heinous examples of what we have done to domesticated wolves. It is no less cruel, and no more moral than slaughtering their wild ancestors from airplanes.

I live in alaska and i am a hunter. I haven't killed a moose or a wolf though.I don't hunt for the sport, just for food and fur for garments to keep warm. I love wolves. I have a tattoo of a wolf howling to the moon on my arm. I have also worn a wolf coat and a wolf head hat that was in my family for generations. I am half aleut and half white so i know about the animal issue on both sides. I think it is crazy make Fishing for salmon illeagle because they have a brain.Salmon is a MAJOR part of my diet in the summer time. I don't think killing animals for the entertainment is good.I hate bear hunting, especially when they use dogs to chase one up a tree and the hunter is having fun killing it.(kodiak Island) I don't think i can ever be turned into a vegi head because i love to eat moose and ruff grouse and wild rabbits. :) I also give a lot of the food to the elder natives so they can make it in the traditional way that was handed down for centuries. Just thought i would put my thoughts in.


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