Arizona, New Jersey, and Alaska governors & wildlife

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2004:

Napo-litano asked the Arizona Game & Fish Department to stop hunting
four pumas in Sabino Canyon, near Tucson, even after the department
agreed to live-trap instead of kill them, refused to authorize use
of a National Guard helicopter to help in the hunt, and told media
that she might ask the legislature to authorize her to hire and fire
the Game & Fish Department head, to make the agency more
accountable. Currently the head answers only to the five-member Game
& Fish Commission. Naming one member per year, newly elected
Arizona governors are in the last year of their first term before
they have named the majority.
Two weeks after closing Sabino Canyon on March 9, 2004
because the pumas purportedly posed a threat to hikers, the Game &
Fish Department had yet to bag a puma, but nabbed convicted Animal
Liberation Front arsonist Rod Coronado and Esquire writer John H.
Richardson for allegedly trespassing in the canyon while the hunt was
New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey, via environmental
commissioner Bradley M. Campbell, meanwhile asked the New Jersey
Fish & Game Council to refrain from authorizing another bear hunt,
after 328 bears were killed in the first New Jersey bear hunt since
1970. Wildlife officials had estimated that there were 3,200 bears
in New Jersey. Further study found that there are fewer than 1,500.

But Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski packed the Alaska Board
of Game with predator control proponents, then praised their work in
March as they expanded wolf and grizzly bear culling and hunting to
make more moose and caribou available to human hunters. The Board of
Game also voted for the second year in a row to allow moose calf
Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman on March 8 certified that
proponents of a ban on hunting bears over bait had obtained enough
petition signatures to put the ban on the November 2 ballot. The
Board of Game then allocated “at least 1,000 bears to bear baiters
for harvent in 18 Game Management Units,” denoting an area larger
than Texas.
“Alaska is one of the few remaining states that allows
bear-baiting,” said Alaska Wildlife Alliance biologist Paul Joslin.
“The Yukon and British Columbia banned it years ago.”
“Under Murkowski, Alaska is killing more than twice as many
wolves as in the bad old days of predator control a quarter century
ago,” added Alaska Wildlife Alliance director Maury Mason as the
Board of Game meeting adjourned on March 17. “For the first time in
30 years members of the public are allowed to shoot wolves from the
air. It is now legal to chase wolves on a snowmobile, run them to
exhaustion, and shoot them. Private bounties are legal. The voters
of Alaska have told the legislature twice that they oppose the use
of aircraft to kill wolves, once through an initiative and again
through a referendum, but the government continues to ignore them.”
Alaska senate minority leader Johnny Ellis (D-Anchorage) in
February 2004 introduced a bill to rename and reconstitute the Board
of Game, but it is rated little chance of passage while Republicans
control both houses of the legislature and the governor’s mansion.
The pro-hunting World Wildlife Fund meanwhile booked tours of
Alaska as part of its “WWF Travel” ecotourism program. Friends of
Animals asked its members to protest.

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