Saturday, June 4, 2011

Obama admin. likes Palin wildlife management strategy

"Do we really want a President who champions such savagery?"
Defenders of Wildlife and other "animal rights" groups have been conducting a years-long smear campaign against Sarah Palin. The organization, which is more about leftist agenda politics than any concern for the welfare of wild animals, even tried -- unsuccessfully -- to get the "Sarah Palin's Alaska" television series cancelled long before the first episode was even aired. For the background on this long running battle, go here.

The group feigns outrage over various methods of scientific predator control which have bee practiced by Alaska's Wildlife Management agency before, during, and after Sarah Palin's tenure as governor. To prevent the state's wolf population from decimating caribou and moose herds, the wolves are periodically hunted and some of their numbers killed so native tribes and sportsmen who depend on the herd animals will always have an abundant supply of food for their families. One of the various ways to keep the wolf population in check is to hunt them from aircraft. Defenders of Wildlife portrays this particular method of predator control as unusually cruel, although it is no more cruel than killing the wolves from the ground. It is from this practice that the myths of Sarah Palin slaughtering the poor wolves from a black helicopter have arisen, although we know of no instance in which she personally hunted wolves from any sort of aircraft. Come to think of it, she has never tracked down and killed wolves from the ground, either. But when leftists create a myth, they work really hard to make sure it will never die, the facts be damned.

It is with this background that we learn that the Obama Administration has sanctioned the killing of feral pigs through a number of means, including shooting them from aircraft:
When it comes to controlling the spread of feral pigs in San Diego County, the public hunting effort isn’t doing the job.

That has led federal agencies to launch an ambitious program that will use cage traps, corral traps, federal hunters with guns and dogs and even shooting from helicopters to exterminate the area’s population of wild swine. Officials see the pigs as a threat to fragile ecosystems and public health and safety. Environmentalists worry about the damage wild pigs will do to the county’s sensitive habitat, much of it rebounding from Southern California’s catastrophic wildfires of the last decade.
Hot Air's Ed Morrissey comments:
To paraphrase the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, do we really want a President who champions such savagery? Well, I don’t know about the president part of the question, but the practice is — and has been — a legitimate strategy for culling dangerous predators to protect livestock. Palin didn’t start the practice in Alaska, and Alaska didn’t pioneer the technique in any case. Congress included the exception for predator control in the original 1972 bill that made it illegal for hunters to track down prey by plane or helicopter. It’s been a longstanding practice in wildlife management, in the kind of regions that the San Diego Union-Tribune describes in its article on feral pigs.

Will the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund run one-minute national spots asking whether America should tolerate a brutal and unethical Barack Obama in the weeks prior to the 2012 election like they did against Palin in September 2008? Don’t hold your breath.
The problem, Ed, is that pigs just aren't as cute as little fuzzy wolf pups. It's relatively easy to spin up a thirty or sixty-second television spot which plays on the emotions by sympathetically portraying the wolf as noble and cuddly. Actually, wolves are neither; they're just another species of wild animal. But pigs just aren't perceived as cuddly by most folks.

We've noticed that Defenders of Wildlife's ads never show a pack of wolves stalking a cute little caribou calf, chasing it down and ripping it to bloody shreds before devouring it. Tough luck, Bambi, but wolves gotta eat. And so do the children of Alaska's native people. However, unlike wolves, Alaska's humans only hunt adult animals from the herd, and a clean shot from a carbine is much more humane than the comparatively savage way that wolves go about the business of stalking and killing their prey.

- JP

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