(CNN) – Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s support for aerial wolf-hunting has sparked a heated cross-country war of words between the governor and an environmental ad campaign fronted by the actress Ashley Judd, with Palin calling the organization funding the ads an “extreme fringe group.”
The squabble began Tuesday when the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund unveiled a campaign called “Eye on Palin,” targeting the governor for what they call her “extreme anti-conservation policies.”
The group is highlighting “Palin’s championing of the brutal and unnecessary aerial killing of wolves and other carnivores” - a controversial practice allowed by permit in Alaska since 2003, with the goal of protecting populations of moose and caribou.
Judd, who has in the past lent her voice to AIDS prevention and reproductive health campaigns, signed on with the group and is featured in a YouTube video. “It is time to stop Sarah Palin, and stop this senseless savagery,” she says in the clip.
Palin struck back in a statement Tuesday night, calling the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund a fringe group that “distorts” the goal of Alaska’s predator control programs.
“Alaskans depend on wildlife for food and cultural practices which can’t be sustained when predators are allowed to decimate moose and caribou populations,” Palin said in the statement.
She added: “Shame on the Defenders of Wildlife for twisting the truth in an effort to raise funds from innocent and hard-pressed Americans struggling with these rough economic times.”
Palin addressed predator hunting on the campaign trail last September in off-the-cuff remarks at an Ohio fundraiser, calling the practice “kind of a big darn controversial deal up there in Alaska.”
"A lot of the far east coast politicians think it's just so politically incorrect," she said.
Lisa.... dear... Controlling wolf populations needs to be done as much as we need to save the trees in the rain forest. Both are meant to protect other populations of other species. Not just your kiddies in the backyard or your puppy. We have the same regulations in fishing and other hunting activities across the US. Ashley Judd is just making an example out of Sarah Palin because she has nothing else better to do than be a pathetic hollywood liberal.
Kevin in Ohio – Isn't your post showing that you are exactly like the ones you despise so much?
As for the question at hand, If Governor Palin is not lying... I mean exposing a different version of the truth (again), then she has a point.
Miss Sarah has met her match!
So, Ashley, you must be OK with allowing the slaughter of moose and caribou, who are "savagely" and brutally dismembered by packs of marauding wolves. People change the balance of nature just by eating it, so this wolf-hunting sounds like a way to restore that balance.
I'm no Palin fan, but please, Ashley, find something else to occupy your time...
The practice of shooting wolves or any animal from the air is barbaric and savage. Pulling baby wolf cubs out of their dens and shooting them in the head is sickening. @ Kevin in Ohio – that is what you call perverted. Sarah Palin and her believers are sickening. With her cherished pro life stance, she is a hypocrit to say the least. There is certainly enough wilderness in the state to provide habitats for these creatures without senselessly slaughtering them. It's not left wing against right wing, it's respect for life. Hunting and using the animals for food is one thing, but this is pure terrorism against nature.
Lisa M, "dear," – the issue is that increasing wolf populations are a deadly threat to moose and caribou, which people do depend on for their livelihood. So yes, they are "stealing" livestock, in that sense.
We're not, as this group would like you all to believe, talking here about simply killing wolves from helicopters because it's fun. Contrary to their comments, it is not unnecessary. It is, in fact, very necessary for the maintenance and sustainability of wildlife.
Sorry Ashley Judd, your attempt to remain relevant = fail.
I'm all for hunting, and I love venison. I've been known to chow down on wild boar bacon, too. I figure – if God didn't want us to eat animals, why'd he make them out of meat?
HOWEVER – aerial hunting of wolves is not okay. It never will be okay. Kudos to Judd for standing up to Palin on this issue.
Didn't realize that advocating the protection our resources (environmental conservation) was a perverted left wing ideal or that doing so made one part of a fringe group. If a wild animal cannot exist in Alaska where exactly can they live?
@Kevin in Ohio February 4th, 2009 1:00 pm ET
This is nothing more than a manifestation of the left-wing hatred of anything and anyone who doesn't agree with their perverted viewpoints.
Right back at ya, Kev.
"Cultural practices?" , Sarah? Why not mention "foreign policy practices" that gone on up there in Alaska.
Sara please just GO AWAY, stay in Alaska where you belong and stop saying more and more ignorant things! PLEASE spare all of us!
Ashley Judd, another Hollywood resident with a Phd. I didn't know acting gave you expertise in conservation, politics and medicine. Wow!
Palin, you're party of an extreme fringe group known as the "Extreme Right-Wing Nut Jobs".
Good for Ashley Judd! "Hunting" from airplanes is got to be the most non-sensical activity invented. Wolves and elk are a natural predator-prey combination. I would like to see some statistics that show that Alaskans depend on elk for a significant part of their food supply. Maybe 200-300 years ago. And "back then" they competed with wolves and other predators. My bet is that Gov. Palin is really more concerned with making sure out-of-state hunters have plenty of game to shoot.
Another example of why Sarah Palin is out of touch with middle America. While I am not a hunter myself, I believe people should have the right to hunt animals in a fair and humane way. I do not agree with hunting from a plane under any circumstances. Sarah just wants less sport animals killed naturally by wolves and more by rich hunters that pay guides to take them out. It is attitudes like Sarah's that will help the Democrats stay in power. She can stay in Alaska because we sure as hell don't want her down here.
Poor Sarah – kills the wolves that mess up the hunting for her tourism, but doesn't want anyone to know about it.
Y'all are picking on her again.
Judd, another uninformed Gore lover...........like many in Hollywood.
Lisa M. dear – go back & read Palin's statement –
"Alaskans depend on wildlife for food and cultural practices which can’t be sustained when predators are allowed to decimate moose and caribou populations"
I think that statement means just that – that wildlife/lovestock are being killed by these predators. If they are not kept in control they will eat humans/children when they run out of food. Reading comprehension
must not be your strong suit.
Judd just another looney lefty that doesn't know what she's talking about.
Even within Alaska aerial wolf hunting is a very controversial issue. Despite the lack of "sport" or conservation ethic spouted by some, the moose and caribou populations must be effectively protected. A large part of Alaska's population live the subsistence lifestyle, and for them a dependable caribou/moose population every year is essential to survival.
I never understand why conservative's are never interested in conserving our natural resources, not only for us but future generations.
Are they going to start shooting grizzly bears because they eat all the salmon? Why don't they take all the money they're spending on the helicopters and fuel and guns and by some food if they're so desperate?
I am a hunter/fisher, but I don't believe in killing wild animals just for sport or so I can have more wild game for myself. The wolves have gotten the sour end of the deal time and time again. Their range use to include almost the entire lower 48, now there's only a few populations left in a few states such as Montana and norther Minnesota. Give them a break.
I'd love to hear the wolves howl in Oregon once again.
SARAH IS bloodthirsty.. Its that simple.. Her so called "christian values" include killing innocent animals, not for human consumption, being PRO WAR, Anti environment..with her fixation on "DRILLING' This woman is NOT leader, and does nothing but divide people into fragmented groups.. remember "UNITED WE STAND"? huh Sarah, have you ever heard of that???
Put this garbage story in the "Entertainment" section. This is not national news.
So opposing the shooting of animals from a helicopter makes you an "extreme fringe group?"
It's always them against us or us against them for some – simpletons unable to entertain any other possible way of thinking. Kevin in Ohio. I say it is the conservative right wing that cannot accept anything but their view point and way of life – everybody else is just wrong. Poor things. They don't really believe in democracy – they only believe in their way.
There is no scientific, environmental, logical reason to shoot any animal in this method. It’s barbaric, void of any humanity or value to the world. Their logic is false, but fear seems to be all they know.
Sarah Palin is a idiot.
Anybody who enjoys shooting and killing anything is perverted.