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Palin Picked Outnumbered Hunters Over Wildlife Watchers

Photo via Grizzly Bay by way of Kinship Circle.

Looks like John McCain has picked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice president. Palin does have a lot going for her: she’s anti-corruption, smart, young. She is the anti-Ted Stevens. She has a reputation as a straight shooter, both literally and figuratively.

But in her recent moves to support aerial hunting of wolves, she has been acting more out of personal loyalties than her state’s best interest. One of the things that makes her so popular in Alaska is that she loves hunting and guns. She supports the controversial aerial shooting of wolves, a plan that leaves more moose and bear for hunters to shoot. This week Alaskans voted to keep aerial shooting–after an ad campaign that got $400,000 from the state and $350,00 from hunting groups.

Defenders of Wildlife tried to get animal lovers to write to her to stop aerial hunting. They posted a youtube video explaining how the wolves often survive the shot and die of exhaustion.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2006 survey of outdoor recreation, wildlife watchers outnumber those who went fishing or hunting in Alaska. For every three Alaska residents who go hunting or fishing, four just go watch wildlife. And lots of them would like to see wolves. And when you include non-residents enjoying the outdoors in Alaska the ratio goes to almost three to five. Even in Alaska, only 11% of the population hunts anymore.

The argument to kill wolves to support hunting is that hunters spend more money. But of $1.3 billion spent in Alaska on enjoying the outdoors, only $674 million was spent on hunting and fishing. The report doesn’t break out what’s just for fishing.


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