Kinship Circle: LETTER/ Shot From The Sky: Aerial Wolf Hunts

October 2nd, 2007 10:14 pm by Kelly Garbato

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Sep 25, 2007 6:29 PM
Subject: LETTER/ Shot From The Sky: Aerial Wolf Hunts


9/25/07: Shot From The Sky – Aerial Wolf Hunts


1. TO: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (COMMENTS DUE 10/11/07)
2. TO: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
3. TO: Your U.S. Representative


Help Us End Aerial Hunting of Alaska’s Wolves

Tell the Bush Administration to Protect Gray Wolves!


Urge Congress to End Aerial Gunning of Wolves!



* Sample letters are prepared to give you ample background on an issue.
Try to change some words, pare down letters, and make them your own.

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SAMPLE LETTER #1: U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service

View wolf rule changes:


All public comments must be received by October 11, 2007.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Ed Bangs, Western Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator
585 Shepard Way * Helena, MT 59601
Ed Bangs: 406-449-5225, x204
email: EA-WolfRuleChange [at], WolfRuleChange [at]
**Include RIN 1018-AV39 in the subject line of the message**

Thank you for soliciting public opinion about the fate of gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Please register my opposition to proposed revisions that permit states and tribes “more flexibility in managing nonessential experimental wolves.”

I strongly disapprove of the destruction of protected wolves to artificially inflate big game populations. A management scheme that could result in the slaughter of hundreds of wolves is irresponsible. The revised 10(j) rule nullifies wolf recovery gains in Wyoming and Idaho. Moreover, your proposal lets states initiate the killing before wolves are even removed from the Endangered Species List.

The mass elimination of predators always impacts an ecosystem. The USFWS Environmental Assessment fails to disprove that large-scale slaughter will hinder wolf recovery. In fact, the EA offers no scientific rationale for modifying the 10(j) rule — an indication that its primary purpose is to open hunting opportunities. This is not “wolf management,” especially when wolves have yet to attain steady numbers.

I am disgusted a government agency would authorize states to kill wolves on public lands if they are perceived as a threat to companion animals and livestock. Wolf provocation remains a rare event and certainly doesn’t warrant revision of a rule intended to preserve a species. Furthermore, private landowners ought to employ non-lethal methods to deter wolf conflicts. Fencing, carcass removal, non-lethal repellents or scare devices, in conjunction with modified animal husbandry techniques, have proven more capable than kill tactics in decreasing livestock damages.

I ask USFWS to adopt Alternative A in your Environmental Assessment and take no action on the 10(j) rule. Please take a stand for wildlife impunity and uphold the Endangered Species Act.



SAMPLE LETTER #2: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

Governor Sarah Palin
State Capitol, Juneau Office
P.O. Box 110001 * Juneau, AK 99811-0001
ph: 907-465-3500; fax 907-465-3532
email: office_of_the_the-governor [at]
web email:

Dear Governor Palin,

Twice: The number of times Alaskans voted to ban aerial hunts. 35 years: The span aerial gunning has been outlawed under federal law. Almost 700 wolves: Fatalities over four years of aerial hunts. $400,000: Funds allocated to promote the state’s aerial gunning program.

Unfortunately, nobody’s buying it. Aerial hunts only jeopardize Alaska’s billion-dollar tourism industry. I will continue to boycott attractions in your state until these profoundly inhumane hunts end.

There is nothing responsible about “wildlife management” that calls for hundreds of wolves to be gunned down from low-flying aircraft. These animals are harassed to exhaustion. Pellets rain down on them. Some limp away to slowly bleed to death. Others are cornered in the snow and shot at point blank range.

Under the Federal Airborne Hunting Act, Alaska’s aerial gunning policies are illegal. Yet the state still lets private citizens track and kill wolves using low-flying aircraft and high-powered riles. No public relations campaign can convince Alaskans and the world that aerial slaughter is humane, rational, or necessary.

Aerial and land-to-shoot hunts shame the State of Alaska, prized for its breathtaking wildlife and terrain. Please permanently ban the senseless slaughter of Alaska’s wolves and bears.

Thank you,


SAMPLE LETTER #3: Your U.S. Representative

To identify your federal legislators and find contact info, try:
USA House of Representatives:
Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121

The Honorable Representative _____________________________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Representative _____________________________________,

I am a registered voter in your district who is distressed about Alaska’s aerial gunning of wildlife. Aerial marksmen have killed nearly 700 wolves over the last four years.

An aerial trophy hunter aims his assault rifle out the window of a low-flying aircraft to shoot wolves on the ground. Pellets rain down on them. Injured wolves limp away to slowly bleed to death.

A same-day airborne hunter harasses animals from the air until they are worn down. He then lands his helicopter or plane, corners exhausted and wounded animals in the snow, and shoots them at point blank range.

Clearly, aerial slaughter is not humane, rational, or necessary. Yet it may expand beyond Alaska as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service weighs a proposed rule change that would permit the slaughter of hundreds of gray wolves in Wyoming and Idaho.

I call upon you to help end these inhumane hunts. I’ve learned Representative George Miller (D-CA) has authored legislation to defend wolves from aerial gunning. Please cosponsor this imperative legislation.

Rep. Miller’s bill seals a loophole in the Federal Airborne Hunting Act (FAHA) and effectively terminates aerial gunning of wolves. In 1971, Congress enacted the FAHA to ban use of an aircraft to “attempt to shoot for the purpose of capturing or killing any bird, fish, or other animal” or to “harass any bird, fish, or other animal.”

In addition, Alaskan voters passed ballot measures in both 1996 and 2000 to ban aerial and land-to-shoot wolf hunts.

I urge you to act on behalf of your constituents, most Alaskans, and the international community — who all want this senseless slaughter to stop. Please cosponsor Rep. Miller’s legislation when introduced.

Thank you,


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3 Responses to “Kinship Circle: LETTER/ Shot From The Sky: Aerial Wolf Hunts”

  1. Smite Me! [.net] » Blog Archive » Business as usual. Says:

    […] Sigh. Over the years, I’ve posted about countless injustices perpetrated against animals and the earth at So few of them make their way over here, because…well, because there are so. fucking. many. of them. Each case is as brutal as the next…routine abuses on factory farms, puppy mills, circuses, etc., etc. etc., all dismissed as “business as usual”; the abandonment of companion animals en masse in the wake of war, natural disasters and the mortgage crisis; seals clubbed to death for their fur, wolves shot from the air to “protect” cattle, “poultry” suffocated in the midst of bird flu scares. It’s fucking endless. Each issue is so fucking heartbreaking that, taken as a whole, a particular story has to be damn near crushing before I feel like posting on it over here, on my non-AR blog. Jax’s murder is such a story. […]

  2. 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:

    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 :

    “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.

  3. Kelly Says:

    Wolves and bears are top line predators, meaning that there are no natural predators to control their numbers.

    Hmmm…humans are top-line predators as well. Maybe we ought to allow the aerial gunning of humans in order to keep *our* numbers under control?

    If your answer is “no”, you might be a speciesist.

    In all seriousness, this is an animal RIGHTS blog. Your argument that we need to hunt wolves in order to “save” them is 1) an animal WELFARE argument, which I reject on ethics and 2) silly. (Incidentally, it also sounds like something that might come out of the Bush administration, in all their infinite wisom.)

    Wolves are hunted not because there are too many of them, but because they compete with human hunters over big game. Can’t have that now, can we?

    If certain conditions have led to wolf overpopulation, we must allow nature to balance out their numbers without our (artificial) interference. If some will starve, so be it. That’s what happens in nature – and it’s not any less humane than chasing them to an exhausted death with coptors.

    Or, if you prefer to interfere, and a balanced scientific report can show that current wolf numbers are unsustainable, what about nonlethal methods of population control, such a sterilization. Oh, but wait, the hunters won’t be able to get their rocks off on killing “beautiful, intelligent, animals that mate for life and have strong family values.”

    As for your defense of “effective wildlife management practices” – fish and game agencies make their money by selling hunting licenses. Without inflated numbers of game animals to hunt, they lose a source of their revenue. Their agenda isn’t about effectively and humanely balancing wildlife populations, but about serving HUMAN needs. It’s fucked.

    Nice try with the propaganda and race-baiting though.

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