AR-News: Mon April 19 - Call/Fax/Email AK Gov Murkowski re Aerial Wolf Kills

DTanzer16 at aol.com DTanzer16 at aol.com
Sun Apr 18 17:00:00 EDT 2004


PLEASE CROSS POST

Forwarded Message: 
Subj: Mon April 19 - Call/Fax/Email AK Gov Murkowski re Aerial Wolf Kills  
Date: 4/17/2004 1:56:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time 
From: elf8000 at juno.com 

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: The Animal Spirit <theanimalspirit at hotmail.com>
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2004 13:53:03 +0000
Subject: {The Animal Spirit Newsletter} April 19 -- Call/Fax/Email
Governor Murkowski Re:

Please crosspost the following alert to concerned individuals.

Even if you have already contacted the agencies below,  please phone,
fax, and/or email once again on Monday, April 19 opposing Alaska's "wolf
control program." (News article follows contact information)

CONTACT:

Governor Frank H. Murkowski 
Office of the Governor
Box 110001 
Juneau, AK 99811
ph: 907-465-3500
fax: 465-3532 
email: governor at gov.state.ak.us 

ALSO CONTACT:

Alaska Department of Fish & Game
Division of Wildlife Conservation
P.O. Box 25526 
Juneau, AK 99802-5526 
Tel: (907) 465-4190
Fax: (907) 465-6142 
Email: wolfcomments at fishgame.state.ak.us

Alaska Travel Industry Association
2600 Cordova Street, Ste. 201
Anchorage, AK 99503
Tel: 907-929-2842
Fax: 907-561-5727
Email: ATIA at alaskatia.org 

Alaska State Chamber of Commerce
Juneau Headquarters
217 Second Street
Suite 201
Juneau, AK 99801
Tel: 907-586-2323
Fax: 907-463-5513
Email: info at alaskachamber.com

Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau
524 W. Fourth Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99501-2212
Tel: 907-276-4118
Fax: 907-278-5559
Email: info at anchorage.net

Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association
2207 Spenard Road, Suite 201
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
Tel: (907) 258-3171 
Fax:: (907) 258-3851
Email: info at awrta.org 


Denali Backcountry Lodge 
410 Denali Street 
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
(800) 841-0692 
Direct: (907) 644.9980 ext:204 
Fax: (907) 644-9981
Email: info at denalilodge.com

Princess Alaska
Phone (800) 426-0500
Fax (800) 336-6100
Email aklodges at princesstours.com

North West CruiseShip Association
100 - 1111 W. Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 2J3
Phone: 604-681-9515
Fax: 604-681-4364
Email: http://www.alaskacruises.org/info/feedback.cfm

Sound Eco Adventures 
PO Box 707 
Whittier, Alaska 99693 
Toll-Free: 1-888-471-2312 
Email: sea at alaska.net 

------------------------------------

Tourists still booking Alaska trips, despite animal-rights boycott call
By MARY PEMBERTON
Associated Press Writer Saturday, April 17, 2004
http://www.casperstartribune.net/articles/2004/04/17/news/regional/f911d3
caac0229c387256e770056764a.txt

Reprinted for educational purposes only

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Facing a new Alaska program to hunt wolves from
airplanes, the animal-rights group Friends of Animals is trying to revive
its successful pressure tactic of a decade ago and persuade vacationers
to boycott the state this summer. But tourism officials say this time the
plea seems to be falling mostly on deaf ears.

"It seems for once Outsiders don't care how we do it in Alaska," said
Eric Downey, vice president of marketing for Denali Lodges.

While tourism officials with the state's largest trade groups say they've
received hundreds of e-mails and letters from people who say they're
canceling plans for Alaska vacations, they say there is little 
evidence of the protest in summer bookings.

The boycott has had no effect on his mid-size company, Downey said.
Denali Lodges expects more than 10,000 visitors this summer at its lodge
inside Denali National Park and Preserve and cabins just outside the
boundary.

"We have not had one cancellation or call of concern or complaint," he
said.

The Darien, Conn.-based Friends of Animals called for the boycott in
December to protest Alaska's aerial wolf control program. Under the
program, 180 wolves were to be killed this winter in two areas where
residents complain wolves and bears are eating too many moose, leaving
them with too few for food.

About 140 wolves have been killed under the program that ends April 30.
The program will resume next winter.

Wolves in Alaska are not a threatened or endangered species. Population
estimates range from 8,000 to 11,000. About 1,500 wolves are killed in
Alaska every year, mostly by trappers.

Alaska resumed aerial wolf hunts last year after a decade-long ban. Gov.
Frank Murkowski has said he will not bend to the threatened boycott
because the state has an obligation to manage its resources to benefit
Alaskans. Murkowski did not respond to repeated requests for additional
comment.

The 950-member Alaska Travel Industry Association in the past several
months has received about 100 phone calls and 200 e-mails, mostly from
individuals saying they won't be visiting Alaska, said spokesman Mark
Morones. But he said it's unknown how many of those people actually
canceled reservations.

Last year, Alaska had 1.3 million summer visitors, with more than half
arriving by cruise ship. The Northwest Cruise Ship Association expects
even more cruise ship visitors this summer, with the first ship arriving
in Ketchikan in Southeast Alaska on May 4.

Smaller adventure-travel companies do see some impact, though their
reports are mixed.

Anne Gore, executive director of the 275-member Alaska Wilderness
Recreation and Tourism Association, said her group receives two or three
strongly worded e-mails or calls a day from travelers saying they're
boycotting Alaska.

The association of small and mid-size businesses responds with a letter
that says AWRTA and the people of Alaska "share your concern for the
wolves. ... Unfortunately, our state leaders have ignored our wishes and
gone ahead with their personal agenda."

It asks that visitors consider showing support for the wolves and
Alaska's wild places by patronizing AWRTA businesses.

During the 1993 tourism boycott, "the only companies negatively
affected... were the small to mid-size businesses represented by AWRTA.
For some of the smaller, family owned companies, the financial losses
resulting from the boycott were devastating, nearly putting them out of
business," the letter says.

John French, general manager of Alaska Discovery, a small adventure
travel company in Juneau, said bookings for March were perhaps the worst
the company has seen in its 33 years. There also were a lot of
cancellations, he said.

While nobody said they were canceling because of the wolves, French
suspects that could be the case. Alaska Discovery clients tend to be
educated and well-read on conservation issues, he said, and it's likely
some of them heard about the wolf control program and decided to skip
Alaska this summer.

"The only people this seems to be affecting are little companies like
ours that support conservation," he said. "It is so frustrating to have
an imperial decree ... and kick sand in the face of small,
conservation-minded adventure travel companies."

Cherie and Kenneth Mason were prepared to spend several thousand dollars
on a two-week cruise to Southeast Alaska this summer. The retired couple
from Sunset, Maine, also wanted to buy Eskimo art to add to their
collection. But after hearing that wolves were being shot, the Masons
told Lindblad Expeditions in New York to refund their deposit.

"Wolves are magnificent animals and they are really at the mercy of
politics in Alaska, depending on who is governor and who is on the Board
of Game," said Cherie Mason. "We will just stay home and hope we can go
next year if things change."

But Gerry Sanger said his Sound Eco Adventures in Whittier has been
untouched by the boycott. He has more than 40 bookings this summer from
clients wanting to take whale-watching cruises and glacier hikes, and sea
kayakers and deer hunters needing transportation to remote destinations.

"My impression is it hasn't made a ripple," Sanger said of the boycott.
"My business is up 20 percent over last year."

Friends of Animals kicked off its tourism boycott campaign on Dec. 27
with a "howl-in" at Rockefeller Center in New York. The campaign is
scheduled to end April 30, at the same time the wolf control program ends
for the season. By that time, 152 howl-ins will have been held in cities
across the United States, and in Japan, Germany, Great Britain and
Canada, said Priscilla Feral, president of the 200,000-member group.

Feral said she's disappointed that Murkowski has not responded the way
then-Gov. Wally Hickel did a decade ago. It took 53 howl-ins in 51 cities
before Hickel ordered a moratorium on the wolf program.

This time, the campaign may have to last as long as Murkowski is in
office, Feral said.

"I just find that this current regime is really destructive beyond what
anybody remembers in prior administrations," she said. "All of this, more
than shaming Alaska, shames the country as a whole and that is why we
aren't going to go away."

===========================================================
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