Judd versus Palin on wolves

February 3, 2009

Sarah Palin still has environmentalists howling.

The Alaska governor and former Republican vice presidential hopeful is the target of a campaign by the Washington-based Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund which claims she is pushing for an expanded program for the shooting of wolves from the sky.

In a graphic video narrated by Hollywood star Ashley Judd, the group claims Palin even offered a $150 bounty for the left foreleg of each dead wolf collected. You can view the video here.

“When Sarah Palin came on the national scene last summer, few knew that she promotes the brutal aerial killing of wolves. Now, back in Alaska, Palin is again casting aside science and championing the slaughter of wildlife,” Judd says in the video, which features footage of a wolf howling in pain after apparently being shot from the sky.

(Photo: Palin works a crowd, Dec 1, 2008. REUTERS/Tami Chappell, USA)

On its web site, the group said in a statement that: “Governor Palin is expected shortly to introduce state legislation that would dramatically expand the aerial killing program by removing the few remaining scientific requirements from the program. ” Palin’s office was contacted by Reuters and was not immediately available for comment.

Palin, an avid hunter and angler like many Alaskans, has frequently clashed with environmentalists on issues ranging from artic oil drilling to the delisting of endangered species.

After suing last year to keep polar bears off the U.S. threatened species list, Alaska’s government said in January it plans to issue a similar challenge to block federal protections for a struggling population of beluga whales in Cook Inlet, a mature oil-producing basin.

(Photo: Judd has an eye on Palin REUTERS/Ramin Rahimian, Jan 17, 2009, USA)

Palin was credited with galvanizing the Democratic Party base and raising money for abortion rights causes last year because of her social and religious conservatism and strong opposition to abortion rights.

It seems Palin can still galvanize activsists on the left and in this case perhaps help raise money for a conservation group.

(Photo Credit: Wolves on the prowl. Canon USA Handout, Undated)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Before you comment on this go to Alaska and see about fifty carabou laying on the ground that wolves have killed and left to rot.

Posted by Slingo | Report as abusive

I think Palin “galvanized” the Republican Party base. If she galvanized Democrats, it was surely to ensure she was never elected to any national office.

Posted by Alexandra | Report as abusive

Wolves keep the injured and diseased wildlife managed and keeps animals life healthy. Very few cases of wolves eating/killing rancher/farners animals. This is a case of hunters killing wolves for sport. Life is more precious.

Posted by James Smith | Report as abusive

I can’t find a single reference in this article as to WHY someone would need to shoot wolves from the sky in Alaska? My guess is that the wolf population is threatening other prey species and this is an attempt to control the wolf population before it decimates some other species (thereby starving itself – a much more cruel ending then being quickly shot). It is probably much more efficient to get around via helicopter in the Alaska outback than it is on foot. I’ve never done it, but I would imagine that hunting via helicopter is a very ‘sporting’ way of doing it. You’re not likely to sneak up on the wolf, and it can’t be easy shooting from a moving helicopter, Hollywood action movies notwithstanding. I would make sure that those performing the hunts were required to make sure they finish the job (i.e. no partially wounded wolves limping around the tundra until they die in pain).

I would expect a woman like Ashley Judd to be threatened by Sarah Palin. I don’t know Judd, but she doesn’t strike me as the type that could go out and hunt her own food. That trait shows strength and would threaten any weaker woman.

Of course, Reuters falls flat on explaining any justification for wolf hunting in general, which I am SURE exists. There must be some good reason they were offering $150 per leg OTHER than Gov. Palin was going to mount it on her office wall. Or are we supposed to believe that Gov. Palin only wants to shoot wolves from the sky because she’s evil, cruel and anti-abortion?

Posted by Roger H | Report as abusive

If the article is true, then Sarah Palin has shown once again what a shallow, shortsighted individual she is. This is a woman that is not smart enough nor educated enough to be a player on the national political scene. I pity the people of Alaska having elected someone this inept as Governor.

Posted by Greg Fraser | Report as abusive

According to the US Wildlife group….wolves are responsible for 80% of the killing of carribou and deer…while only 10% of the wolves are killed by humans. This is a need….they are predators: just like Ashley Judd.

Do not talk to me about Infantcide while beating your bleeding heart about weeding out wolves as predators.

Posted by Stephanie RItchie | Report as abusive

I can sympathize with Palin. We in Idaho have the same problem. Between the wolves and cougars, we no longer have deer or elk (the same in Alaska). It is to the point that our fish and game department is promoting hiking at the expense of the people that are paying them to preserve game through hunting and fishing fees. When a person from the fish & wildlife service says, We are the Fish & WOLF Service, that lets you know where they stand. We had a governor at the time that let the wolves into our state (I think to preserve a job as head of the Dept. Of Interior)(I think he screwed that up to), if he had been a real governor, he might have thought about the people and said, no. I think I would actually help to trap the wolves to move them to Washington DC or any other place the pro-wolf people would like, so they could experience this up close.

Posted by Ted M | Report as abusive

Judd is nothing but a basher, if the wolves are not kept in check this will cause problems for the Native Americans who eat Caribo, this is a culture way of life not a Hollywood picture, if the population of wolves are not kept down, the Natives will starve, it this what Miss Judd thinks should happen? Have Native Americans offended her by carrying on their way of life? Maybe she would like to put them in schools again, many native children died from this kind of thinking before. Miss Judd should mine her own business.

Posted by RUNNINGDEER | Report as abusive

How much hunting does Ashley Judd do? Seems to me that hunters, and people that actually pay fees for hunting licenses are more in touch with wildlife conservation, in principle and reality, than some stupid actress/ singer that probably doesn’t know one end of a gun from another. To many wolves can destroy a managed Elk, deer and moose population. And if you shoot them from the air to thin them out, or waste TIME and MONEY to go in on foot and kill them, what’s the difference? Time AND money saved. Don’t be misled by the “run Bambi it’s man” crowd. Game management is NOT for children, but it does need to be done. Ask Park rangers in elephant grazing areas of Africa. They kill hundreds of elephants every year. If they didn’t, the elephants would destroy the environment completely, killing off the shade trees. The men that do this, love elephants and hate to have to kill elephants, but know it needs to be done. If they don’t do it, there won’t be ANY…..So use your heads and understand that Ashley and her cohorts don’t hunt, don’t care about conservation,( except as a means to an end) and are using it to bag on Palin. How much money has Ashley raised for conservation? Compare it to the amount Hunters put in EVERY year.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

Hopefully, Palin can run in 2012 and galvanize the left against her once again.

Posted by Andrew | Report as abusive

Ashley Judd has the credentials of a lobotomized socialist. Trying to find anything sensical or of any intellectual or moral value in anything she does exceeds the capabilities of any conventional, reasonable person. Sarah Palin has probably accomplished more from 7:00 AM til 9:00 AM any day of the week than Judd has in a lifetime. What a joke.

Posted by John Stevens | Report as abusive

Judd’s cause to save the wolves is a publicity stunt to NoWhere.
The killing of wolves is predator control to save the caribou herds and therefore to protect the food source of the Native American population. Ashley,would you have the people starve in order to save the wolves??
Why don’t you try to save the sea lions that are eating the salmon in the Columbia River of WA state?? No way, would you do that, because Sarah Palin is not the Gov of WA state. You are just out to use her name in the headlines.
Shame on you, you are an ignorant exploiter.

Posted by WarriorWoman | Report as abusive

judd was paid to do this bashing –shame on her–she is a pinhead

Posted by navy | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin is smart. She never set science aside as Ms. Judd indicated. The State of Alaska uses sound scientific methods to determine the best way to manage their natural resources. The governor doesn’t decide that. Hunting is allowed in all staes to some degree even states with democratic governors.

Posted by paul | Report as abusive

Bleeding Hearts kill Beating Hearts….Please Judd:Millions of infants are slaughtered through abortion…Crusade against abortion-rights…Alaskan biologists use science-based studies in our predator programs…Not liberal,self-serving emotions…Have you even been to our Alaska before?

Posted by Kenton (Proud Alaskan) | Report as abusive

this is just another phony hollywood cause. when will ms judd campaign against killing of say .. chickens. (btw killing wolves help caribou moose etc. will another hollywood idiot stand up for them? )
fact is here ms judd is trying hard to stay in limelight now that her career is tanking by bashing gov palin, rather than from any sympathy for animals.

Posted by sfernando | Report as abusive


Sarah is a “GOD” fearing Soul and a Blessing to USa all !

McCain brought her down and let socialist in with his wimpy campaign ! Sarah should have been the leader instead as she shows in all her under-takings !
She knows more first hand in AK than any outsiders. Here in MARYland there was a organized deer hunt out of season to controll a situation which was out of balance. It may be so in AK.

“GOD” BLESS Sarah and “GOD” BLESS America with Sarah as President !

Posted by K D | Report as abusive

Prediction: Saracuda easily wins the skirmish against this Hollywood, self absorbed, self anointed defender of our furry friends who live in the woods and steal people’s food.

Score this:

People 1
Wolves 0

Posted by John from Philadelphia | Report as abusive

You people (and Palin) are scary! You really think because an animal is a “predator” that is must be destroyed??? That pretty much explains the entire thought-process of the Right.

Rather than looking at the big picture, you guys dumb it down to a fairy tale version of good vs. evil.

And no one feels any connection to wolves even though they are just a few degrees of evolution away from our own beloved pet dogs?

No, I’m not anti-hunting. But have some compassion and look out for the bigger pictures.

And Beluga whales? Wherein lies their threat to our 4th amendment or whatever God-given rights you guys cling to?

Posted by Shawn | Report as abusive

May be Defender of Widlife Judd should come up with a plan on to save the caribou and moose instead of attacking the Guv.

Quote from Defender of Widlife and Judd: “Sarah Palin isn’t fading into the background” What does this mean if the Guv fades into the background then who cares about the wolves. This has nothing to do with the wolves this has to do with Politics.

Ashley Judd has not problem letting infant babies die in a utility room after a botched abortion. Judd is for wolves rights. What about the caribou’s rights? What about the Alaskan native’s rights to feed their families? Somebody should tell washed up actress Judd that the republicans lose the race. Judd’s Mom loves Sarah Palin.
Thanks Ashley, I just donated $500.00 to SarahPAC. Keep up the good work!
Donate to SarahPAC to counter the lies and smears.

Posted by Jean | Report as abusive

This has nothing to do with ‘healthy’ moose or caribou populations. The Alaska Dept of Fish and Game says on its website that in some areas of Alaska “people need or want to harvest more moose than the system can support. In Alaska, moose are valuable to people as a source of food and income (i.e. guiding and transporting hunters), particularly in rural areas. This is why people often express the desire for predator control.”

Without predator control, the system reaches Low Density Dynamic Equilibrium or LDDE, where the numbers of predators and prey settle into levels that the habitat can support. The bottom line is that these stable levels of prey in some areas are not high enough to support high levels of hunting pressure. Normally, sustainable levels of prey for hunting are maintained by limiting the hunting season, imposing bag limits, etc. In parts of Alaska, this is not enough to sustain hunting, particularly since guided hunting is big business in Alaska. Just do a Google search for ‘Alaska big game hunting’ to see what I mean. It’s all about the money, honey.

Posted by WL | Report as abusive

Interesting how much these blogs are a true reflection of the public issue. On the one side, there’s an uninformed pundit hurling dishonest and baseless insults about an honorable person and scientifically necessary process, and on the other side there are informed people offering reasoned, logical and calm defenses and explanations.

However, I’ll give this much to you, Greg Fraser. One has to be pretty confident to sign their full name to such an adolescent statement.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

I am all for Judd ,this is a horrify story.Can’t we humans find something else to do then shoot wolfs from the sky or any means ! Why can we not just leave things alone and let nature work it out . Palin is an awful person for even suggesting such a thing. I will remember when she goes to run for any higher office and be sure to remind the voters.

Posted by ron gilbert | Report as abusive

Do we really care what empty head Ashley Judd has to say. This is another classic case of stirring the pot and not having a clue what is in it.

Posted by Kim | Report as abusive

In the interest of honesty and integrity in reporting, perhaps you should investigate the facts and not just spew slanted perspectives an a situation. The reason why number of wolves is limited is to protect the moose and caribou population that provide sustenance for Alaskans. Please stop making unsubstantiated claims to sensationalize stories about innocent, upstanding people.

Posted by boog | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin didn’t come up with this idea, it was presented from both sides and went to a vote. The program is very strategic and managed, only 9.4% of Alaska’s land is even allowed for this type of hunting. You can google “Aerial Predator Hunting” and learn specifically what Alaska is doing by selecting the link that takes you directly to Alaska’s website describes what they are doing.

I’m a rancher, that’s how I make my living. We don’t have wolves, but we have Coyotes and they are efficient killer’s. If we can’t control the coyote population, then the price of beef will rise dramatically. Have one of you ever seen a pack of coyotes kill a calf while a cow is “calving,” and then kill the cow. The Calf and Cow die a slow sudden death. At least the hunting of these wolves is done by ethical “one shot” kills. Of course, not all are “one shot” kills people do miss and wound, but that percentage is small. The ruthlessness that Coyotes and Wolves deal out is 100% painful and cruel.

In addition, coyotes kill 50%-80% of Whitetail Fawn population every year. Again, those numbers depend on how predators can be managed.

I am not attacking anyone that has posted personally/specifically, but seeing first hand the devastation that predators can cause if not managed I am in agreement with Alaska’s “Legal” policy of managing Wolves.

Posted by Rancher in Texas | Report as abusive

I believe they tried predator control in yellowstone years ago – It was a complete disaster. Populations of deer, and other wildlife exploded to points where these creatures could no longer support themselves, and these too died a horrible death.

In short predator control is wack science, and to associate aerial hunting, or caged hunting for that matter to true hunting…well I think true hunters would agree, is not hunting and is an insult to hunters everywhere.

Finally I read the other comments on this board, and I am floored that so many of you mindless fools could support this?!?!? This isnt political…it is about doing what is right….and senselessly killing wolves just isnt right.

Posted by chuck | Report as abusive

Appropriate control of predators may be necessary to prevent livestock depredations or dangers to the human populace due to our encroachment on wildlife population’s territories and issues arising from habituation to humans. This is just a necessary part of effective management of an ecosystem that includes human populations in the equation.

Generally populations of ungulates can co-exist and remain viable/sustainable alongside predator populations as these species have done for aeons without ANY human control factors. Predators and prey, in a healthy ecosystem will balance each other’s populations in much more effective ways than human controls can ever do. It is generally only when humans over-hunt, over-build or otherwise interfere with the trophic cascade effect that populations of either or both (predator & prey) become dangerously unbalanced.

This (among other reasons) is because losses in populations of ungulates to predators is often compensatory while losses to populations (either predator or prey) from humans hunting are primarily additive. Predators take the weak, aged, sick or starved, genetically inferior prey when at all possible because it is easier and less risky. Humans hunt seeking the strong, breeding age, healthy, genetically superior stock whenever possible because we have such tools (helicopters, planes, scopes, hunting rifles, etc) that allow such to make us efficent hunters with little personal risk.

With Alaska’s current human populations, the nutritional needs of residents filled by ungulates are not really the issue. There are sufficient ungulate populations to feed the Alaskan human residents who actually depend on this source without endangering the sustainability of the herd populations OR a need to eliminate (significantly limit) competator species (predators).

This (like many other Palin environmetal policies) isn’t about making sure that rural Alaskans (“Joe the Hunter”)can hunt and thus obtain meat for the dinner table. This is about limiting competition so the Alaskan ungulate herds will be bountiful enough to attract tourism and big money trophy/hobby hunters. This is about money. This is about the tourism industry and Palin’s desire to preserve her constituents among them. Same as her drilling policies in areas with critically endangered wildlife are motivated by her pandering to her oil company constituents.

You may say Judd is empty headed in her calling this issue out, yet I suspect Palin’s head is far less full of actual environmental fact than her “pocketbook” is full of her Oil and Hunting/Tourism constituent’s money.

Posted by JL Wortham | Report as abusive

Oh, please….give me a break Ashley Judd! Sure, you’re proudly pro-choice and criticized President Bush regarding his anti-abortion policies, so that means you’re perfectly fine with women killing their innocent, precious, unborn babies!!! Oh, but don’t dare kill an animal, make sure you save those trees! Insane!! I’m a humane person. I don’t believe in cruelty to animals and I believe in doing what we can to save our environment, but MOSTLY I uphold the sanctity of human life and I believe we must protect the unborn babies above all. You have your priorities all screwed up! Thumbs down to you Ashley Judd! Why do all you celebrity types think you know so much about politics and that the American people really care what you think? Just because you have money, you think your opinion counts more than anyone else? WRONG…I feel it turns Americans off to supporting any future endeavors a celebrity may have. For example, the Dixie Chicks. Didn’t hear much from them after their comments about President Bush. The bottom line, WE REALLY DON’T CARE WHAT YOU CELEBRITIES THINK! It just turns us off when you celebrities get your noses into politics, where they obviously don’t belong! My advice to you, stick to what you do best…acting, and stay out of politics! Although, I have to say I will never support any of your future movies with my hard earned money. You’ve lost my support. Go PALIN!!!!!!! Go PALIN!!!!!!!!

Posted by Karen | Report as abusive

I just have one question? Why are so many people throwing a fit about being cruel to the wolves, yet they are fine with killing innocent babies and supporting abortion rights? I’m sure Sarah Palin is only doing what she has to do to preserve the balance of Alaskan wildlife. She’s willing to step up to the plate and make tough decisions when she has to! I support her 100%!!!

Posted by Karen | Report as abusive

I don’t hunt from helicopters. I don’t think it’s a good idea. But my children and pets are not threatened by wolves when they go out to play in the snow. My view on aeiral hunting might change if they were. But as Governor Palin pointed out, this is a fundraiser. Her name was attached only because of name recognition and the emotional response from liberals. This is not directed at environmental conservationists. It’s probably not directed at animal rights people, either, per se. This is a plea to liberals to STOP SARAH PALIN!!! Do you think her name would have been used two years ago? She was an unknown then. This video is trying to raise funds from an emotional response that is carried over from the presidential election.

Posted by rob-of-indy | Report as abusive

Aerial hunting is cruel and unnecessary. But…
It has NOTHING to do with abortion rights. Pregnant women are NOT being grabbed and forcefully strapped to a table, they make the decision to have an abortion because it is their body, their right. You people who continually compare aerial killing to abortion are pathetic. If you want to defend aerial killing go right ahead, but use an argument that makes some kind of sense.

Posted by Kim | Report as abusive

The state wildlife board needed to take dramatic action on behalf of the caribou in the southern herd. The population had dropped from 6,000 to 500. Wolves and bears had wiped out the offspring for too long, and left alone, the herd would have disappeared altogether.

Unfortunately, critics didn’t bother to find out why Palin’s administration thinned the wolf population by the most efficient manner available to them. Critics of responsible wildlife management seem to live in Cartoon World, where the wolf and the bear and the caribou all become best friends and have adventures together with the plucky little kid from the local village. In fact, the wolf and the bear will eat the caribou until there are none left, and would have the plucky little kid for dessert if they could.

The biggest irony, of course, is that the critics of drilling in ANWR like to invoke the caribou as a reason to block extraction of the vast oil resources in the region. The wolves present a far greater danger to caribou than drilling ever did, but I guess caribou are only valuable as a means to block drilling.

Posted by JRC | Report as abusive

If Governor Palin was a little more intimate with wolves, I think she’d think very differently. Give us a try, Sarah. Our bark is worse than our bite. 😉

Posted by wolfman | Report as abusive

Dave Grossman, National Manager of the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge Assiociation, reports that both Man and Climate are son encroaching on the wolf’s natural habitat that continued hunting of this ilk could eradicate the species in Alaska by 2020.

Posted by Beth G | Report as abusive

Once upon a time, in Iowa, there was a terrible “old world” fear, that wolves ate children as well as livestock. There was a bounty put on wolves, and everyone went a’huntin. When most of the BIG BAD People eaters were erradicated, the people found themselves up to their backsides in rabbits, and no new crops! Story by my mother who relayed it to me. Iowa was her home state. Sarah needs attention. Please let her have it!

Posted by sharon gomez | Report as abusive

Let me give you a few statistics.
2,000 per year…Conservations speculation of wolves killed via trapping, aircraft, snow machines (both legally and illegally)
9.6 million per year…Number of domestic pets euthanized (as of 1997 published by American Humane reported by NCPPSP)
Looks like you are championing the wrong cause…unless of course you were looking for guaranteed exposure, jumping on the “Palin” wagon.

Posted by Lana | Report as abusive

First off, the abortion issue is not relevant to this issue…why such unrelated rhetoric is being injected here defies logic.

Now, I am no critic of RESPONSIBLE wildlife management. Palin’s policies however do not reflect responsble management but only address one factor in the cause of declining Caribou populations. While predation is one , factor in the decline it is only one variable and is exacerbated far less by predator populations (which are self-limiting) than by a huge number of underlying issues with the overall health (and reproductive and developmental rates) of the herd.

According to recent Studies/Research Projects, of which there are a growing number as caribou herds are declining in many of their natural ranges in many different northern regions, there are a number of factors influencing the decline of caribou herds.

According to their findings pregnancy rates of Caribou dropped by 20% since the 1990s. Survival rates of calves also dropped significantly due to a number of factors besides predation…and that these factors exacerbated predation losses that included disease, parasites, nutritional deficiencies that were causing lower birth rates, slower development of calves, weak and sick calves with lower survival rates that were also more vulnerable to predation. Global warming is also being shown to HEAVILY influence declining herd populations as is human encroachment into the territories/habitats of caribou.

Here are some of the findings from the ADF&G (Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game) article on the ADF&G 2005 research project from their website:
(Investigating The Decline of The Northern
Alaska Peninsula Caribou Herd…By Elizabeth Manning)

“Biologists don’t know yet why the Northern Alaska Peninsula herd has so many health problems. Some diseases may have been introduced from other caribou herds or by cattle while the increase in parasites may have something to do with climate change.”

“It appeared there was significant impact of disease on young caribou,” Beckmen said.”

“Beckmen found that prior to 1999, the Northern Alaska Peninsula herd appeared relatively disease-free. But beginning in 2000, the blood work showed the presence of antibodies to Bovine Respiratory Viral Disease Complex.”

” Examinations of adult caribou also showed the caribou were heavily infested with parasites including Ostertagia, also known as the brown stomach worm. The parasite infects caribou as well as domestic reindeer and is known to reduce pregnancy rates and calf weights.”

“In addition to understanding more about predator-prey dynamics, the biologists are also trying to learn about nutrition and habitat, and to understand the role of underlying health problems such as disease and parasites.”

“A declining herd probably never has just one problem,” Dale said. “We’re doing our best to sort these things out.”

From the University of Alberty study:
(University Of Alberta (2004, September 3). Computer Models Expose Humans As Main Cause Of Caribou Decline. ScienceDaily.)

“ScienceDaily (Sep. 3, 2004) — If not for humans, the number of woodland caribou in northern Alberta would be seven times greater than it is now, a new study from the University of Alberta shows.”

“The models show that human activities stood out overwhelmingly as the variable most responsible for the woodland caribou’s decline in northern Alberta. The models also showed that woodland caribou could coexist with uncontrolled wolf populations in northern Alberta, but if human developments continue at the current rate, the number of woodland caribou in the area will drop sharply in about 15 years, and continue dropping until they are eliminated from the area in 37 years.”

Yet another scientific study sites “trophic mismatch” as a primary causitive factor in declineing Caribou populations in Greenland.

(Penn State (2008, May 2). Global Warming Linked To Caribou-calf Mortality. ScienceDaily.)

Coincidentally: “This research was funded by the University of Alaska, the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment, and the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration.”

“ScienceDaily (May 2, 2008) — Fewer caribou calves are being born and more of them are dying in West Greenland as a result of a warming climate, according to Eric Post, a Penn State associate professor of biology. Post, who believes that caribou may serve as an indicator species for climate changes including global warming, based his conclusions on data showing that the timing of peak food availability no longer corresponds to the timing of caribou births.

The phenomenon, called trophic mismatch, is a predicted consequence of climate change, in which the availability of food shifts in response to warming, whereas the timing of demand for those resources does not keep pace.”

Responsible wildlife management is about determining and addressing ALL factors. Presently not enough is known about predator/prey dynamics in either a healthy or a malnurished, heavily diseased/parasite infested caribou herd to make a policy of predator slaughter into a real (responsible) solution to a MUCH larger problem with many other KNOWN factors at play.

There is MUCH to critcise about Palin’s wildlife management…based on scientific studies found in the world of science, NOT notions found in “cartoon world”. Perhaps Palin should actually read these studies (some of which were funded in part by the State of Alaska) before blaming “The Big Bad Wolf”….Geeze, talk about living in Cartoon World! Palin is a full time resident.

Posted by JL Wortham | Report as abusive

Also….on a side note to whoever believes that Palin is being targeted for publicity because of her recent bid for VP. You might want to do a little research.

Palin (and her policies) has been a focus for conservationists in general and Defenders of Wildlife specifically since she became Gov. of Alaska. She may have been an unknown to the general populace before the Presidential campaign but her policies of wildlife management have been under scrutiny from their inception. I have been reading articles from DOW (and other sources)on Alaska’s Wildlife policies for years and Palin is no new name in them. Feel free to check the archives at the Defenders of Wildlife website.

Posted by JL Wortham | Report as abusive

To the “expert” on the cause of declining Caribou populations, you totally missed the point. Palin and her policies, declining caribou populations and domestic pet euthanasia have been ongoing debatable issues. My point is, why now, why the wolves? Why address an issue that only affects a few hundred animals per year versus over 6 million every year. To hear a celebrity speak of the senseless slaughter of helpless animals, and to select the wolves versus domestic animals, is like addressing the proverbial gnat on the elephant’s butt. The research has been done.

Posted by Lana | Report as abusive

To the individual who feels the “point” was missed.

First off, I am no expert on Caribou, never claimed to be. Simply someone who is moderately informed pointing out the larger scope of the issue AT HAND….which BTW, is NOT the issue of pet overpopulation, abortion, the education system’s failures, the homeless crisis or the multitude of other issues being addressed by a plethora of activists all over the world. Certainly there are many valid, important issues in dire need of being remedied. As someone who works in dog rescue, I can testify personally to the validity the issue you mention on the plight of domestic animals.

Yet, THIS is an environmental blog on the subject of the Alaska wolves and Palin’s policies regarding such…not on the pet population issues….there are many charities and groups (a number of which I support and work with myself) already dedicated to addressing THOSE issues.

Why is D.O.W. “on about” the issues of the slaughter of Alaska’s wolves?

First off, DOW came about as a result of the efforts of those involved in the Yellowstone wolf restoration which brought back an important member of our ecosystem which had been wiped out 60 years earlier by those with a similar mentality to the supporters of Alaska’s current policies. This same cavalier attitude toward wildlife in our history (that when left unchecked) led to the slaughter of as many as 100,000. wolves a year until canis lupus were completely eliminated from their habitat in the Western United States. Defenders of Wildlife understands well how a history ignored can be repeated. The founders set up this organization to prevent such happening to the Yellowstone wolves. This group then expanded to assist in a number of issues regarding the preservation of wildlife AND it’s many beneficial effects on our entire ecosystem.

Many make the mistake of trivializing the disregard or even the potential loss of any specific species. Yet each species plays an important role in the balancing of our entire ecosystem…which by the way, IS essential to our survival as well. For those who don’t understand the importance of any specific species and their far reaching impact on the entirety of the ecosystem one should do some research on “trophic cascade” to understand how every species (plant or animal) impacts the multitude of other species, and even to the quality of the air we breathe. It actually is some interesting reading…quite an eye opener.

The disregard of appropriate wildlife management is FAR from the “proverbial gnat on the elephant’s butt”. Such a view is myopic, to say the very least.

To compare this to the plight of (insert cause here) is comparing apples & oranges. What is an important issue for one may be less so for others but all are valid in their own right. Is the plight of pet overpopulation to be trivialized by those advocates for the homeless? Or the issue that many children in this country do not have healthcare available? I have seen others seek to do that very thing and it is no more appropriate (or productive) there than it is here.

There are many things that need fixing in our world.
IMHO, our energy is better invested in supporting the causes we choose to instead of trivializing others. One cannot effectively create positive change for one cause by investing their energy into trivializing another.

Posted by JL Wortham | Report as abusive

[…] of Alaska’s wolves. Judd says in the video: “It is time to stop Sarah Palin and …Judd versus Palin on wolves ReutersAshley Judd targets Sarah Palin OneindiaAshley Judd Takes Aim at Gov. Sarah Palin Gay […]

Posted by judd vs palin | PollMogul.com | Report as abusive

Absolutely mind-boggling the absolute ignorance of this woman, Ashley Judd. She rabidly protects the “rights” of wolves to live and yet rabidly protects the “rights” of mother’s to kill their own children. Does ANYONE see the irony in this????

Posted by Kym McCormick | Report as abusive

What does abortion have to do with the wolf issue? It is totally irrelevant.

Ashley Judd is articulate and did a tremendous job of explaining this issue.

If you listened to the interview you would know that Ashley has donated to Defenders. She is not paid for this.

The people who are knocking Ashley are already anti-animal welfare. You heard what you wanted to hear. Obviously it wasn’t the same interview I heard.

Those of you who are far right and “Christian” read up on your Bible. It supports treating animals with respect. Guess you hadn’t heard about that one.

Posted by PJO | Report as abusive

Trophy hunting is one of the worst types of coward. A real man or woman doesn’t have to prove their bravado by shooting helpless animals from the safety of a plane or helicopter.

I’m not condeming those who hunt for subsistence and do it as humanely as possible.

But some people don’t hunt out of necessity. Like those who club helpless seals or shoot mourning doves for target practice.

No, some people just like to kill. It is sick and scary.

Posted by PJO | Report as abusive

Palin hunts animals. She doesn’t like other animals competing for her game – even though she has the advantage of technology. By ridding the predators, she can kill her prey. And all is fine. As long as she can enjoy her “sport” it doesn’t matter what’s left for the next generation. You know, just like when the buffalo were wiped out. But why should anyone care–animals are here for our use– humans are the center of the universe and can do whatever they feel justified to do. What’s a few wolves compared to the number of animals on this earth? And when they’re gone, we can shoot the humans we define as lesser beings. I bet Sarah already has a few in mind!

Posted by barb | Report as abusive

[…] Reuters covers this story in a one-side event. Not only has Reuters not bothered to contact any scientists with the Alaska fish and game department for a scientific explanation, they simply promote the lies perpetuated in the short documentary narrated by Ashley Judd. […]

Posted by Defenders Of Wildlife Attacking Palin. Not Interested In Saving Wolves : Black Bear Blog | Report as abusive

Wouldn’t it be more productive to sedate some of the animals and reintroduce animals to areas that have existing populations that may have inbreeding issues (i.e., Michigan/Minnesota)? Note: Hunting is an appropriate method of conservation. Shooting from planes is not hunting. Hunting generates funds that protects wildlife and conservation efforts. Don’t waste taxpayer money fueling helicopters for an issue that hunters or nature will ultimately manage.

Posted by CWilson | Report as abusive

Palin confuses me how can someone like her think that having a child before it is born killed even though if the child doesn’t die it is a possible risk to both parent and child wrong and yet see no shame in killing living breathing dreaming goal setting wolves tortured from the air until they finally die?
I am not against all hunting
And I think abortion is necisary if the child and parent risk getting killed if the abortion doesn’t happen
but sporthunting and killing children just because you were in it for the sex is wrong having children is a comitment and we are suppost to set an example for others


Posted by Hidden | Report as abusive