Saturday, June 28, 2008

Conservationists Sue to End Alaska's Wolf Kill Payments

Conservationists Sue to End Alaska's Wolf Kill Payments
Mar 28, 2007

Conservation groups Tuesday filed suit in Alaska Superior Court seeking an injunction to block Governor Sarah Palin's program of paying $150 for each wolf foreleg brought to the state from any of five areas of the state where the government wants to reduce wolf populations.

Defenders of Wildlife, the Alaska Wildlife Alliance and the Alaska Chapter of the Sierra Club call the $150 payment a "bounty" and base their case on the fact that Alaska's bounty laws were repealed in 1984 and the state has no current legal authority to implement the bounties.

Announcing the payment program last week, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Division Director Matt Robus said the cash payments are "incentives to aerial control permittees, and are not bounties."

"This program is a directed management action applied in a limited fashion in specific areas, available to properly-permitted operators, and yielding useful scientific information. In contrast, the bounties of past years were broad-scale efforts to extirpate animals across large portions of their ranges," said Robus.

Defenders of Wildlife's Alaska Associate Tom Banks disagrees. "The governor is overstepping her legal authority by offering cash payments for each wolf killed by aerial gunners," he said. "That's a bounty by anyone's standards regardless of what they call it."

Read the rest of the story:
Conservationists Sue to End Alaska's Wolf Kill Payments