Punish Pair Accused of Killing Protected Black Bear and Cubs

Target: Jahna Lindemuth, Attorney General of Alaska

Goal: Punish father and son charged with killing a black bear and her cubs.

Two men charged with killing a protected black bear and her cubs are finally being taken to court, months after the incident. Video footage reportedly showed father and son Andrew and Owen Renning trespassing on a remote bear den; the pair reportedly claimed not to have known that the sow and her cubs were part of an observation program, or that it is illegal to kill black bears in most of Alaska.

Ignorance is no excuse for such alleged actions. Black bears are one of Alaska’s most threatened species to date, especially as the laws for their protection have been challenged multiple times by greedy hunters or even the government. These men allegedly committed a grave injustice against these poor animals; the cubs were reportedly heard screaming as their mother was gunned down, right before they themselves died, all allegedly so two men could attain some form of glory. The bears were skinned after their death; it is unknown whether they were meant to be trophies, or fur or meat to sell on the market.

We must ensure that these men face justice, to set an example for other hunters planning to trespass on protected animals. Sign this petition to demand these men face justice for their alleged slaughter of innocent animals.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Attorney General Lindemuth,

A family of black bears was reportedly slaughtered by a duo of hunters, who allegedly claimed ignorance when told that it was illegal to hunt black bears in Anchorage, Alaska and that these three particular bears were part of an observation program. The duo has been taken to court months after the incident.

Claiming ignorance does not erase the dirty nature of their alleged deed. Black bears are one of the most threatened species in Alaska, especially with their protection laws being challenged as the government tries to revoke them to satisfy trophy hunters and the paranoid stereotype of bears as dangerous predators. These two men must face justice for their alleged slaughter of these creatures, to set an example for other hunters who may ever consider trespassing on protected grounds. We demand the maximum penalty be sought in this case.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: beingmyself

Protect Alaska’s Natural Legacy: Do Not Strong-Arm Damaging Drilling onto Arctic Wildlife Refuge

Target: Mark Fesmire, Alaska and Pacific Regional Director of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement

Goal: Stop downplaying and ignoring environmental threats from drilling in Alaska.

When the controversial tax cut package passed Congress, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski slipped in a special interest provision that propelled Arctic drilling efforts forward. In the process, she essentially sold out some of her state’s most precious lands for a vote. Now, the Trump Administration is looking to fast-track this destructive process, shunning environmental dangers in the process. As a result, within a year one of the world’s last undisturbed wonders could be open for corporate pillage.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a true sight to behold, sprawling nearly 15 million acres. The lands host an array of wildlife, from polar bears to water fowl to porcupine caribou: magnificent but vulnerable animals that may soon have their habitats, and their livelihoods, altered forever. Further, proposed activities such as seismic testing will likely mar and reshape a diverse landscape that encompasses marshes, rivers, hills, lakes, coastal plains, and a collection of plant life perhaps unrivaled in the northern hemisphere. Much of the proposed drilling would take place in a section of the plains area that will significantly impact caribou and the native Gwich’in people who depend upon these animals and the surrounding lands for much of their physical and spiritual sustenance.

Despite public outcry from these and other concerned citizens and despite words of caution from scientists, this administration is demanding fast approval of leases for the Congress-certified drilling efforts. This acceleration forces key agencies to complete a review process that would normally take years in only a few months. Not only will this shrunken time frame stifle much of the local citizenry’s debate, but it will likewise curtail the voices of many key environmental analysts and experts. The Fish and Wildlife Service has already been left out of much of the decision-making process, and Interior Department officials are limiting environmental assessments to only 150 pages within the expected review. For context, one environmental organization alone submitted an analysis of harmful impacts that spanned well over 150 pages.

Sign this petition to demand the Interior Department take time and care with a process that could radically redefine the Arctic landscape for generations to come.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Fesmire,

Senator Lisa Murkowski, in her continued promotion of arctic drilling, once proclaimed that ‘outsiders’ should not determine the fate of Alaska’s arctic landscape . Perhaps, then, Senator Murkowski and others should listen to the voices of the people who have inhabited these lands for centuries….the people who rely on these lands for survival in every sense of the word.

The Gwich’in people have joined droves of their fellow Alaskans in calling for compassion and caution in fundamentally altering their environment and their lives. We are concerned that in the name of speed and profit, you are not listening to these voices or the voices of countless experts who devote their lives to studying these lands. In order to hear these voices and in order to deem you analysis truly trustworthy, you need time that extends well beyond a few months.   You also need detailed, accurate analysis that is not limited to a few  pages.

Even the organizations with whom you are negotiating drilling contracts have urged you to take your time. Do the one thing that every side of this heated debate can agree upon: make informed, holistic decisions that ensure no animal, no piece of pristine land, and no voice is left behind.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Protect Bear Cubs and Wolf Pups From Slaughter

Target: Ryan Zinke, United States Secretary of the Interior

Goal: Protect Alaska’s wolf pups and bear cubs from unwarranted slaughter.

Alaska’s bears and wolves will soon be in danger of needless slaughter. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s plan to roll back protection laws for Alaskan bears and wolves is fast approaching, despite strong opposition from the state itself. The rollback of these Obama-era laws would allow cruel and unethical hunting practices such as baiting, killing hibernating bears, and laying traps for wolves during denning season. This would almost certainly spell the extinction of many different species of bear and wolf, who are already dying out due to unnecessary killings.

The legalization of these practices could lead to the extinction of many species of bear and wolf. Too many of these poor creatures have already been shot with “self-defense” as an excuse, while said creatures were quietly going about their own business and living their lives. Due to their history as predatory animals, bears and wolves have gained an unfair reputation used to justify these killings, and the last thing we need is for such cruelty to become fully legal.

We cannot allow this plan to succeed. Bears and wolves are living creatures that deserve better than to have their lives ended out of human paranoia or for sport. Sign this petition to denand Zinke call off his plan immediately.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Zinke,

Your plan to roll back protection laws for bears and wolves in Alaska is unethical and selfish. Too many of these creatures are ruthlessly killed by humans for sport, or shot while minding their own business with “self-defense” as an excuse. While bears and wolves may have a history as predatory animals, the majority of them would not harm humans unprovoked and are simply trying to live their lives. Additionally, many species of wolf and bear are nearly extinct despite laws set in place to protect them; rolling back these laws entirely would likely result in them disappearing forever.

The state of Alaska firmly opposes these plans to legalize hunting, trapping, baiting, and the killing of hibernating bears. You must respect the wishes of the population and keep protection laws for these animals firmly in place. Do not legalize the wholesale slaughter of innocent creatures for selfish reasons.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ronnie MacDonald

Don’t Allow Trophy Hunters to Kill Sleeping Wolf Pups and Bear Cubs

Target: Dan Smith, Deputy Director of the National Park Service

Goal: Preserve protections that shield wildlife in Alaska’s national preserves from inhumane killings.

In yet another assault on Alaskan wildlife, the National Park Service has proposed new guidelines that will leave bears and other large wildlife vulnerable to hunters looking for nothing more than a trophy. The dictate, under the guise of aligning federal standards with state standards, gives an additional win to trophy hunters at the expense of wildlife: a long-running and frequent goal of this administration.

This latest affront reverses protections put forth by the Obama administration that banned cruel hunting methods used on federally owned lands. Among the previously restricted and possibly now sanctioned activities are killing young animals such as bear cubs and wolf pups while they sleep in their dens, using food and spotlights to draw out unsuspecting prey, and making use of motorboats in the easy slaughter of marine wildlife. Hunters will now also be allowed to use other animals like dogs as weapons against Alaska’s wildlife.

If enacted, these newly enshrined inhumane standards will leave all wildlife within the 37,000 square miles that comprise Alaska’s national preserves at the mercy of trophy hunters like Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. The Interior Secretary, whose department oversees that National Park Service, recently held meetings with his board of advisers on wildlife conservation…an advisory board that happens to be packed with known big game hunters.

The public, in turn, has roughly 60 days to ‘advise’ the National Park Service on this critical proposed change as well. Sign the petition below to give voice to Alaska’s increasingly under-siege wildlife population.

PETITION LERTER:

Dear Deputy Director Smith,

The National Park Service is entrusted with a sacred duty: preserving the history and the legacy of our nation’s most cherished landmarks and natural wonders. As the person given directorial authority over this agency, you in turn have a responsibility and a high duty that goes beyond politics or affiliations.

Recently, Alaska has become ground zero in a fight for and against America’s wildlife. The proposed eradication of protections for wildlife on federal preserves feels like less of a move to align federal and state guidelines and more of an effort to appease certain powerful trophy hunters. If these new guidelines come to pass, bears, wolves, and so many other living beings ingrained in Alaska’s rich ecological history will fall to the manipulative and cruel tactics of individuals who eradicate them for profit and prestige.

Please prove your skeptics wrong and fight for the lands and the inhabitants you pledged to protect. Do not bargain Alaska’s wildlife to those who do them harm.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Christian Pietzsch

Protect Walruses Foraging in Alaskan Village

Target: Bill Walker, Governor of Alaska

Goal: Encourage protection of walruses foraging in Alaskan village.

Roughly 200 walruses have crowded the beach of a small Alaska village to forage for food. This village seems to be the optimal foraging area for the creatures, who feed on the mollusks living on the nearby ocean. Walruses can spend as many as seven months seeking food, especially the bull walruses who provide for their families.

Since 2017, the walrus has been especially vulnerable due to the Trump administration’s refusal to put them on the endangered list. The species is indeed endangered, with the number of foraging walruses having dropped from 10,000 to as little as 2,000 since the 1980s. Additionally, walruses are very easily scared off by any disturbances; noisy approaches by people can startle them into stampedes that kill other wildlife, and continued disturbances by beachgoers or the noises associated with human activity can drive them away from the area.

We must ensure that these walruses are strongly protected during their stay on this beach, and during any subsequent returns, especially after they have been denied legal protection as an endangered species. Sign this petition to protect the walruses and help grant them an easy time during their forages.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Walker,

A large group of walruses has taken up residence on the beach near Port Heiden, where they will spend the next several months foraging for food. The species has been endangered for years, and is especially vulnerable now due to the Trump administration’s refusal to put them on the endangered list. They lack government protection, and can easily be scared away from their foraging and resting spots by excessive noise and crowds.

You must ensure that these walruses are protected during their stay here, and during any subsequent returns. Their numbers have dropped drastically since the 1980s, and they are in need of extra protection due to being left off the endangered list. Please ensure that the village and surrounding area will accommodate these animals and allow them to forage safely and peacefully.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Joel Garlich Miller

Protect Alaska’s Bears, Wolves, and Other Rare Animals from Slaughter

Target: Greg Sheehan, Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department

Goal: Ensure protection of Alaska’s endangered bears, wolves, and other predators.

Most recently on his laundry list of environmental blunders, President Trump has now overturned a crucial protection rule that was preserving Alaskan wildlife. The Refuge Rule was installed in the state of Alaska to protect animals such as bears and wolves from hunters who sought to control the populations in local areas. Initially the rule was created as a way to provide ecological balance between the caribou and the predators (such as bears and wolves) because of inhumane poaching techniques used by hunters.

The leader of the Humane Society called this move “an outrage for any animal lover in America” and his point is backed up by animal rights activists across the country. The only way to stop this act is to have the U.S. Fish and Wildlife department reinstate the Refuge Rule. Stand with us in demanding U.S. Fish and Wildlife protect endangered species and reinstate the crucial Refuge Rule.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Sheehan,

President Donald J. Trump seems to have a special hatred for the environment and all those who inhabit the land. His policies seem to directly support the belief that he does not care about what happens to any life aside from his. The Refuge Rule overturn is a huge loss for Alaska to take as the state fights to protect its evolving wildlife.

Laws like this may seem small because they are based on one state, but if we allow Alaska to start killing its wildlife, what is to stop other states from following suit? We need to stand up for our endangered wildlife immediately. We demand you do something about this outrageous ban.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Carl Chapman

Stop Allowing Hunters to Gun Down Wolves with Assault Rifles

Target: Bill Walker, Governor of Alaska

Goal: Stop hunters from using assault rifles to kill major predators like wolves by creating a no-kill buffer around Denali National Park.

Wolves are being killed at near record-high numbers in the area around Denali National Park, prompting officials from Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to shorten its annual wolf hunting season. While the DFG claims that the wolf population is not at risk, wildlife experts have expressed concerns about the state’s lax hunting regulations and the fact that these predators are increasingly being gunned down in large numbers by hunters using assault rifles on highly mobile snow machines. They fear it may be only a matter of time before the iconic wolves of Denali are hunted to extinction.

While shortening the wolf hunting season will help prevent more senseless killings, it cannot reverse the damage already done. If the wolves were to go extinct, this would not only be disastrous for the ecosystem– it would likely hurt Alaska’s economy as well. Denali National Park is the state’s biggest tourism draw, with many people visiting simply to get a chance to see the wolves in their natural habitat.

We must protect Alaska’s wolves for the future. Sign this petition to demand a no-kill buffer zone around Denali National Park and a statewide ban on using assault rifles to target major predator species, including wolves.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Walker,

Denali National Park is your state’s largest source of tourism revenue, drawing thousands of wildlife-lovers annually. Many of these visitors come simply to see wolves in their natural habitat, a sight that has vanished in so many other parts of the world. Yet thanks to lax regulations on predator control in Alaska, the wolves may soon disappear from Denali as well.

Large predatory species, such as wolves, play a pivotal role in ecosystems by managing herbivore populations. When they are killed at unsustainable rates, as is happening in the area around Denali and statewide, the entire ecology of the region is negatively impacted. That is why we are urging you to establish a no-kill area around Denali National Park, and to change hunting regulations to prohibit the use of high-powered assault rifles against large predators, including wolves.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: D. Kopshever/National Park Service