Sunday, February 8, 2009

Alaskan Moose Hacked My Computer

After a frustrating week of troubleshooting, I think I may have finally gotten my computer back to normal. During my hiatus from posting, I saw about 1200 articles on the whole Ashley Judd/Sarah Palin war of words over the practice of shooting wolves from helicopters to prevent them from killing moose and caribou in Alaska.

As mentioned countless times on this (and other) websites, Sarah Palin is a dumb twat. While debating this point with a couple of Republicans I work with, the argument was made that Palin is being targeted merely because she's a Republican. To be clear, I have no moral opposition to hunting. I wish there was a program that encouraged hunters to donate unused portions of their kill to food banks, but there isn't. Native Americans didn't waste a bit of what they took from Mother Nature, finding a use for everything they killed from the nose to the hoof. Sadly, we are a lazy and wasteful bunch.

The thing that pisses me off about Palin isn't that she labels the group Judd has aligned herself with as an "extreme fringe group" that "distorts the facts." It's that she doesn't know the facts. Shocker, I know.

James Swan is an avid and well-educated outdoorsman who knows a thing or two about wildlife in Alaska. A couple years back, he wrote about the declining numbers of moose in Palin's home state. According to Swan, the declining numbers are not caused by hunting or natural predation, rather they are caused by a shrinking of natural habitat. He called for a plan to create a more suitable habitat for moose to thrive that incorporated the use of contolled burns to maximize the number of adult trees a moose can feed off of and the building of fences for protection along roads and railroad tracks.

Palin asks people to investigate the facts on this before passing judgement. Since she refuses to divulge the name any news source, magazine, book or resource she consults when assessing situations and how to best act, I have no clue if she has read this case study from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. In it, it DOES highlight that wolves are indeed responsible for the majority of moose that meet unnatural demises. It also breaks down how reproductive rates are intimately tied to the severity of the weather in a given period. Predatory control programs are not new, but this report makes a point that they would prefer to avoid their use if they can. Ultimately, we must await the results of this more recent effort by the ADF & G which has an emphasis on creating a better habitat for the Alaskan moose before we know where things truly stand.

This I do know.. Alaska is home to the largest remaining population of gray wolves. They have been largely eradicated from the lower 48. Moose are nowhere close to becoming extinct, despite a dip in numbers recently. The practice of killing wolves to save the moose is short-sighted and discriminatory. Of course, the whales don't get much help either and they only eat krill.


Comrade Kevin said...

This whole controversy reminds me of two children screaming at each other on the playground.

Kup said...

This photo proves the Times were out to get Palin all along! Glad your computer is running well. You were missed...