You’ve probably heard about Alaska ex-governor Sarah Palin’s support for aerial wolf and bear hunts–and along with it the conventional wisdom that she was simply doing what gun-totin’, predator-hatin’ Alaskans wanted. In the July-August issue of Audubon, contentious veteran columnist Ted Williams deflates this notion, noting that Palin’s brand of predator control was guided more by an anti-science stance and pressure from the trophy hunting industry than by the will of Alaskans.
In making his case, Williams notes the natural resistance of Alaskans to opinions from “away,” but talks to several well-informed Alaskans who hunt, fish, and consider Palin’s wildlife management ideas to be ill-founded at best. For instance, here’s Mark Richards, co-chair of the Alaska chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers:
“Never has political meddling been so blatant and detrimental to the future of our system of wildlife management as it is under the Palin administration. I have a letter from Palin shortly after she took office, claiming she wanted to manage wildlife based on sound science. It’s complete bullshit. What she is doing is not even close to science or sound management.”
Williams surely would have been cheered to know as he wrote his column that Palin would soon resign. Unfortunately, it will take Alaska longer to roll back her predator policies than it took her to derail the McCain campaign.