Remember when the Left erupted in Outrageous Outrage over Alaska’s attempts to cull the troublesome wolf population by shooting them from aircraft? Do you recall when animal-rights groups painted Sarah Palin as a “brutal” and “unethical” sadist for sanctioning this strategy? Good times, good times (emphasis mine):
That has led federal agencies to launch an ambitious program that will use cage traps, corral traps, federal hunters with guns and dogs and even shooting from helicopters to exterminate the area’s population of wild swine. Officials see the pigs as a threat to fragile ecosystems and public health and safety. Environmentalists worry about the damage wild pigs will do to the county’s sensitive habitat, much of it rebounding from Southern California’s catastrophic wildfires of the last decade.
The U.S. Forest Service estimates there are 200 to 300 feral pigs in San Diego County. There’s also a small sounder of pigs near theRiverside County border that likely was there prior to the release of pigs in late 2006 on the Capitan Grande Indian Reservation behindEl Capitan Reservoir in the San Diego River bed. Hunters who spend a lot of time in the backcountry say the population is three to four times that now and it will be useless to try and eradicate them.
Still, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management are developing a plan to eliminate as many feral pigs as possible, as soon as possible.
To paraphrase the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, do we really want a President who champions such savagery? Well, I don’t know about the president part of the question, but the practice is — and has been — a legitimate strategy for culling dangerous predators to protect livestock. Palin didn’t start the practice in Alaska, and Alaska didn’t pioneer the technique in any case. Congress included the exception for predator control in the original 1972 bill that made it illegal for hunters to track down prey by plane or helicopter. It’s been a longstanding practice in wildlife management, in the kind of regions that the San Diego Union-Tribune describes in its article on feral pigs.
Will the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund run one-minute national spots asking whether America should tolerate a brutal and unethical Barack Obama in the weeks prior to the 2012 election like they did against Palin in September 2008? Don’t hold your breath.