February 4th, 2009
09:17 PM ET
9 years ago

Palin takes on Ashley Judd’s ‘extreme fringe group’

Ashley Judd appears in an environmental ad campaign for the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

Ashley Judd appears in an environmental ad campaign for the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

(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.

Filed under: Extra • Sarah Palin
soundoff (319 Responses)
  1. Cathy W.

    Lisa M – read the article, dear. The reason they are hunting the wolves is to keep them from killing too many moose and caribou, which Alaskans DO eat.

    February 4, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Pookie

    Shame, shame on Gov. Palin. What is she thinking!

    February 4, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Alaska ex-pat

    Ashley...you keep fighting the good fight. Sarah Palin is no "sportsman"...real hunters don't need to fly up in a helicopter and use a high powered rifle to kill. Where's the sportsmanship in that? What, does that make her a helicopter pilot too?

    February 4, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. Patti

    Who said the anti-christ would be a man? – Oh yeah thats Rush the Drug Addict and Jr. College drop out.. Maybe its a woman and she has an ax to grind against wolves.

    February 4, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. GreenWoman

    I find it difficult to believe that wolves are a serious threat to the populations of moose and caribou, and are depleting the herds to the detriment of human hunters.

    Wild predators' normal function in the wild is to cull the sick, old, and otherwise non-prime animals (in direct contrast to human hunters, who traditionally target the prime members of a herd).

    And in terms of wolves and other predators interfering with "cultural practices" dependant on hunting, surely it is clear that native Alaskans (and I'm talking first peoples here) co-existed with predators and prey for thousands of years before the "new Alaskans" showed up and began to show concern that unless wolves are shot from helicoptors, the moose and caribou populations will be seriously depleted.

    If there is to be a stronger control placed on predator control in Alaska, I suggest it be placed on non-native American hunters, *not* on wolves.

    February 4, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Ken in Dallas

    Well, Sarah is a savage, her behavior during the campaign proved that. The turkey interview alone stands as proof that she's oblivious to the sensibilities of gentler Americans. Shooting wolves from a helicopter doesn't really make her a hunter, though. If she wanted to be a hunter, she'd be on the ground, where her prey is. She just does it to show off with a gun, a character defect more often indulged by males.

    She probably doesn't care what Ashley Judd thinks of her, though.

    February 4, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. Canadian Chickie

    Nature needs to be left to nature. It's natural for wolves to kill .. they are predators. This happens in the wild .. no need to go around shooting from the air .. that is crazy! If there's not enough moose & caribou to go around, find something else to hunt! Once you start essentially 'taking out' a species of animals, it always has an effect on something else ... let nature take it's natural course – don't mess with it!

    February 4, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Thomas

    Sarah Palin
    GUNS and OIL LOBBY !

    February 4, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Kyle Jenkins

    Ms Judd needs to stick to her own knitting and stay out of things she doesn't know about. She is pretty, though. So is Gov Palin.

    February 4, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. pencils for sale

    Sarah is just like that guy in texas"ted nutcase".He shoots the animals in cages,how mighty he is,I would like to see the Preditor come down in his spaceship and hunt them both haha.

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Mark in Atlanta

    Perhaps Palin would have a little more time for reading if she spent a little less time killing things. Funny to hear her, a snake handling whack job, call someone else "extrmeme" or "fringe."

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Steve

    There isn't a respected biologist in Alaska who supports this program, or the claims that Palin makes about its purported benefits. Those of us from Alaska know that this is merely a thinly veiled program to allocate more of Alaska's wildlife to "sport" hunters.

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. Be Realistic

    I wish that hollywood types would realize that outside of the major urban areas in Alaska (Fairbanks, Anchorage, Juneau), there is little to no infrastructure to support the substinance of humans. Native Alaskan populations and those who live in remote regions do not have a Starbucks or Panera Bread to pop into for a bite to eat. I commend Ms. Judd for standing up for a cause that she believes in, and this is a bad situation, but there are larger issues to be worried about these days.

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Will

    As I've said before, why are are we keeping Sarah Palin in the national conscience? Ridiculous stories about this woman, are only fuel for the right-winged nuts. "Why are you trying to strip our rights to kill animals" is the argument, they'll use. Ri-freaking-diculous!

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Brian

    Wow, ok, so just that I am clear....it's ok for the state of Alaska to financially support the killing of human beings when they are no longer wanted by thier mothers, but when an animal is no longer wanted, the state can't allow private individuals to kill it. So the wolf should have a greater constitutional right to life then the genetic human.

    Now I understand...I agree... let's stop the Savagery!

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. @ NYC

    I thought Sarah Palin was Pro-Life? But first the Turkey massacre live on TV and now this. tsk tsk... Palin is a hypocrite of the highest order.

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Derailin' Palin

    She is the extremest. She also opposes the govt. as they listed the Beluga whale as threatened as well as the Polar bear. She cares not for people or animals. It's all about Sarah.BTW, did she ever get a passport? LOL, not that she would ever want to visit another country, they are all so "extremist"

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. Chris

    Well, if, "Alaskans depend on wildlife for food and cultural practices," then I am sure Sarah Palin opposes drilling in ANWAR. Oh wait...

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. Shirl0706

    why would anyone kill an animal, any animal, and consider that sport, or conservation, or whatever name they choose. Unless you need to kill to feed yourself. As far as I'm concerned all the "sport" hunters are emotionally deficient morons.

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. Jon in CA

    Ashley Judd is the type of Hollywood Liberal who thinks solving the predator issue in Alaska should be as simple as hiring Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer, to "council" the wolves.

    Ashley Judd = looney tunes

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Independent

    Must be Ashley Judd gave up her day job. SHOPLIFTING

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. T

    It's funny...the group does not say they have a problem with the hunting of wolves but with the cruel practice of aerial hunting, yet Palin responds by saying they are distorting the truth and that the practice is necessary. It may be necessary to hunt these animals but to shot them from a plane? That makes total sense. Obviously a gun doesn't give enough of any advantage

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. Free speech babe, its the American way.

    Welcome to National Politics Mrs. Palin. If some Americans don't like what you say or do, well they have the right to tell you.

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. Enough already!

    why, exactly, is Palin still in the news?

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. elle

    what does ashley judd call abortion? sensible savagery ?
    guess she hasn't had an acting gig lately......

    February 4, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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