Thursday, July 9, 2009
What's next for Alaskan Wildlife?
Palin's Resignation Leaves Wake of Wildlife Devastation: Parnell Has Opportunity to Chart New Science-Based Path
The following statement from Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund President Rodger Schlickeisen is in response to the resignation of Alaska governor, Sarah Palin:
"Governor Palin's surprise resignation comes at a crucial point for wildlife and wild places in Alaska. In the just two and a half years of her term, she has made a series of decisions that prove she had absolutely no interest in being an environmental steward of the unique natural treasure that is Alaska.
"Instead, Governor Palin ignored our nation's leading wildlife laws and filed senseless lawsuits to pursue her anti-wildlife agenda. Palin's increasingly extreme anti-wildlife management policies included shooting wolves from airplanes and helicopters, using airplanes to track black and brown bears then shooting them from the ground, and the gassing of wolf pups in their dens. She even targeted wolves that had been part of a fifteen year long scientific study conducted by the National Park Service. All this, as well as her decision to fight much needed protections for both polar bears and Cook Inlet beluga whales, shows her blatant disregard for both science and environmental laws.
"Her efforts were, and still are, a threat to the natural integrity of America's last frontier, a state that boasts many national wildlife refuges, forests, parks and other federal lands, covering more than 200 million acres of the state. And if this isn't enough, Palin's persistent denial of global warming is sure to fast make her a political relic.
"Palin's successor, Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell, must now decide whether he intends to extend Palin's devastating and destructive wildlife legacy even further, or whether he intends to chart a new path, by removing politics from wildlife management and restoring science to the decision making process. He can be sure that Defenders will be paying close attention to his decisions."
The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund (www.defendersactionfund.org) provides a powerful voice in Washington to Americans who value our conservation heritage. Through grassroots lobbying, issue advocacy and political campaigns, the Action Fund champions those laws and lawmakers that protect wildlife and wild places while working against those that do them harm.
Jessica Brand (202) 772-0239