Posted by: shannynmoore | March 10, 2010

Skinning The Truth

Wolves have been in the news lately. In today’s Anchorage Daily News, there was speculation that a wolf might have killed a young school teacher in Chignik. Last week, the Alaska Board of Game voted 4-3 to eliminate the buffer zone around Denali National Park despite the wolf population plummeting to a 23-year low. Late biologist Gordon Haber fought to his early death to protect those wolves. Governor Sean Parnell appointed Al Barrette to replace Bob Bell on the Alaska Board of Game.

Who is Al Barrette? Mudflats wrote a great post that you can find here. Barrette, who has an obvious and unambiguous conflict of interest, cast the deciding vote to open up the northeast periphery of the Denali National Park to wolf trapping. Barrette owns both the Fairbanks Fur Tannery and Alaskan No. 9 Trap Company.  The latter manufactures the Alaska Wolf Trap.  Apparently, Mr. Barrette didn’t think he had a conflict of interest-despite casting a public vote to bolster his personal bottom line.

There is much we don’t know about Governor Sean Parnell’s ethically-challenged appointee to the Alaska Board of Game. I think Al Barrette best reveals Al Barrette in this short video shot by Backpacker Magazine a little over a year ago.  At that time, Barrette was on the Fairbanks Advisory Council to the Alaska Board of Game.

I’m Just a Girl from Homer, and I grew up trapping animals with my father.  That said, this video disturbed me.  If you feel like you can’t watch it, at least LISTEN to it.  Listen to Al Barrette wax poetic about his philosophy on religion, science and wolves…


For those of you who couldn’t watch or listen, I transcribed Mr. Barrette’s comments at the beginning of the film:

Al Barrette on the bible and man’s role in game management:

“…it specifically puts out in the first book of the bible, in Genesis, that we should, uh, subdue nature and control it.  We should be the managers of the animals and through the…the sin of Adam and Eve is what brought it on, and, uh, in fact, the first, uh…the first clothes that were made for Adam and Eve were skins of animals…by God.”


Al Barrette still must be confirmed by the legislature.  Find your legislators and tell them to reject Al Barrette for the Alaska Board of Game.  Contact your state senator and representative.

Email Governor Sean Parnell or call him at 907.465.3500 tell him to withdraw his conflicted nominee from consideration.

Email the State of Alaska Boards and Commissions at or call them 907.465.3934 and express yourself.


  1. I’ll watch tomorrow, okay. I’m heading off to the sack now and I don’t need anything to keep me awake.

  2. This man is disgusting..and has no respect for the animals he takes. We have plenty of his sort down here where I live and I have no respect for them either, and plenty for the wolves! I also admire and repect hunters who respect the animals they hunt…….

  3. His next life will be as a Toklat Wolf.

  4. Sorry – can’t watch the video – however I am glad to find out that there is something we can do about having this individual on the Board. Thank you so much for the information.


  5. It is hard to fathom that a State like Alaska which is heavily dependent upon tourism allows and tolerates such public policies and conflicts of interest to the public good. It is short sighted, intellectually bankrupt, and ultimately destructive to all that Alaska aspires for. What would be the consequence of these actions being known and highlighted on a national level with a request that all tourists who believe in the ethical treatment of animals NOT to come to Alaska. Spend their tourism dollars somewhere else that does care…money talks. Heli-skiing and heli-wolving don’t go together…tourist traps and wolf traps don’t go together…cruise ship industry take note…it’s your bottom line at risk. There’s ethical hunting and then there’s slaughter…

  6. These hundreds of years later, they still haven’t learned anything about nature from the first Americans, who watched in horror as the white man went on a land grab and Buffalo rampage across their beautiful land. Still the same mindset, but this time it has its eyes cast on the last wild places. They scorch the earth because they can.

  7. I’m going to link this post to my senator and representative as well
    as Governor Parnell and the Boards and Commissions. Surely, they can see this is a disturbed man with a conflict of interest a mile high!
    Disgusting video.

  8. Not going to watch the video, once again wildlife loses. Better start building a place at the zoo for the wolves because that will be the only place to see live ones in the not too distant future. Why does the supposed leadership of Alaska keep shooting itself in the collective foot? When will they stop shooting – when all the wolf packs are dead and gone?

  9. Shannyn, thank you so much for posting this. I wrote to Governor Parnell yesterday after seeing AKM’s post. I am sure has the same view of people from the lower 48 expressing their views on this subject as the former half governor did, “outsiders just need to mind their own business” or something to that effect. Both Parnell and Palin seem to be overlooking a fact, and that is Denali is a NATIONAL Park. It just doesn’t belong to the people of Alaska. I would encourage people to write to Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar as well as Alaska Denali Tours, which I did today.

    It should be an embarrassment to Governor Parnell that he not only has no regard for the Alaska wildlife that the rest of the country, and indeed the world, considers a real treasure. Nor does he seem to care that by this senseless decision has put his friend in the tannery business above those citizens of Alaska who depend on tourism as their livelihood.

  10. A year or so ago, I was watching “gavel-to-gavel” coverage of the AK legislature on 360North, as Les Gara made an impassioned speech about how barbaric this continuous wolf slaughter is, & how bad it is for the state’s image. At the end of the speech, the only response was from some _______ from Fairbanks (I don’t recall his name at the moment, but he’s still there)… His words: “Well, I’m not going to apologize for having an airplane.”

    Recently, also on 360North, I saw the new attorney general nearly in tears claiming that environmental groups are hammering the state with lawsuits. It’s getting damn expensive for us to be primitive neanderthal idiots, he implied. Good work, environmental groups! More, more, more!!!

  11. “it specifically puts out in the first book of the bible, in Genesis, that we should, uh, subdue nature and control it.”

    Jesus Christ! Since when is the Bible an authoritative source for game management?

    I mean really, how stupid are some people?

  12. Dear God,
    Hi, it’s me, Sarah. You know that I love your makin’ of the heavens and earth and whatnot. Me and the tea partiers and all the other real Americans that you love are carrying out my plan, ummm, I mean your plan for the world. So back to the heavens and earth, you betcha they’re beautiful and perfect. Except for one teensy-weensy thing and I hesitate to even mention it, but here goes. Wolves suck. We really hate them down here. They kill moose and other things next to the potatoes (Thank you for Moose and Potatoes! Amen!) I hope you don’t mind, but here in Alaska we’ve decided that the wolves were a mistake. Aww, don’t worry, everybody makes mistakes now and then. In fact, the first time I make a mistake I promise to ‘fess up to you and receive that forgiveness there. Okay, that’s it for now. Just a heads up that we’re cleaning up the wolves so you’ll know where they went the next time you’re blessin’ us here in Alaska.

  13. hmm. having trouble locating that, uh, part of the Bible, uh, where, uh, God told Adam to control and conquer nature. in Eden, he was to “dress it and to keep it.” Genesis 2:5 KJV


  14. Shannyn,
    There was a discussion last night on PalinGates after they posted a story about the wolf hunting as well. I thought a FaceBook page on the topic might work. Regina has created one. Please post it on your Facebook to promote it and add what you can to the New page.
    In my eyes… this board is Sarah’s ” Death Panel for the Wolves “. She set it the Board.

    • The Alaska Wildlife Alliance already has a page. There are several Alaskan organizations and folks who have actually written the ballot initiatives and know who should be on the BOG. I encourage people to check out and sign up for updates with them since they are fighting these laws in the capital halls. I don’t know Regina but understand she lives in France. It’s great that people all over the world are willing to help us fight for the wolves.

  15. I have worked hard here in New Mexico for the reintroduction of the Mexican Wolf. We have the same type of idots here who kill them illegally. I consider wolves as one of the most intelligent species in the animal kingdom. What a crime against nature to wipe out an intelligent species such as a wolf! I cannot watch the video!

  16. Sadly what seems missing from the readers of this blog is a failure to grasp the scientific need to manage wildlife. Sometimes this means balancing one element of the environment to achieve harvest goals so people can eat. Same thing with a garden. Nobody who is for managing for abundance is about wiping out wolves, just limiting their numbers in certain areas so people can have moose or caribou on their tables.

    And it is food on tables that is the priority of the Constitution, or at least in the framers’ intent when they said that our wildlife needed to be managed for sustained yield.

    It is hypocritical to go shopping at Safeway in Missouri or Anchorage or even Homer and then have the temerity to say Alaskans shouldn’t have food on their tables, that wolves should have it all instead. In some areas almost no moose calves survive the summer because the wolves (or bears) eat them all, assuring a decline in the moose population.

    The other thing to consider is that SoCalWolfGal suggests that Denali Park is a National Park, but what that has to do with wolves I’m not sure. The wolves in the Park are protected. Did you know that Mt. McKinley National Park, when it was established, was meant to be a nursery to grow animals so they would wander out of the Park and be available as food for Alaskans? Do a little research and you can learn that in the early years there was a lot of wolf control in the Park to save the Dall sheep.

    But NEVER FORGET, the animals in Alaska, even on National Park lands, belong to the citizens of Alaska, not anyone else. Management of any wildlife should be done scientifically, not emotionally, and that is what I see most of on this site.

    Educate yourself and stop relying on emotional propaganda to determine your notions of how wolves are managed (or anything else for that matter), and also keep in mind in some places it is either wolves (or bears) or people that get the food, and I think we need to recognize the priority for people over wolves if it comes to that. Remember also that humans are responsible for about 5-10% of the mortality of moose in a year. Predators get the rest, so don’t for a minute think hunters are at fault for keeping moose or caribou populations down.

    • nafanua,

      You are the one who needs to educate yourself.

      Start with this weeks episode of Moore Up North. You can view that here:

      Then consider what happened in McGrath:
      The residents complained that there were too few moose to hunt (50″ bulls). ADF&G thought there were 850 moose. The healthy sustainable target for that area was 3,500 moose. Then they did the most comprehensive survey ever and determined there were 3,600 moose!

      They also looked at bull:cow ratios within EMMA, a 520 square mile area around McGrath (11.5 miles north, south, east and west of McGrath) and compared those to ratios outside that area-outside the lazy, low hanging 4 wheeler and river boat fruit. Surprise surprise. The target ratio for a sustainable hunted population is 30 bulls:100 cows. Within EMMA, that ratio PLUNGED to 6 bulls:100 cows; outside EMMA and away from easy access, that ratio was 44 bulls:100 cows. This study and survey PROVED that 2-legged predators were responsible for the decline of huntable moose right around McGrath, AND, there were absolutely ENOUGH moose in that area-3,600! The problem was certainly and unambiguosly OVERHUNTING!

      Yet, this study was covered up and predator control was implemented in 2002 when science-denier Frank Murkowski became governor.

      The research over many decades of Adolf Murie, Vic Van Ballenberghe and Gordon Haber concluded a basic fact: wolves strengthen herds; they cull the sick and the weak. They assist in building sustainable populations. Their science contradicted wolf eradication programs.

      That is why SCIENCE-BASED decisions must form the basis of any predator control program.

      Look where the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and Board of Game is headed: Corey Rossi, a Palin crony, is appointed to the Director of Wildlife Consevation! Rossi has no experience except as a Gopher-Choker and no degree!!! That’s like having an Attorney General who wasn’t an attorney or a Medical Director who was not a doctor!

      AND…the newest fundamental Christian Dominionist Board of Game member is Al Barrette. He voted to eliminate the wolf buffer zones around Denali National Park. Barratte owns a tannery company AND a wolf trap company that directly profits from his own vote to eliminate the wolf buffer zone.

      As for Denali National Park-you are completely WRONG! There has never been a wolf control program inside the park.

  17. Check out this link for info on previous wolf control programs in the Park and where to find more information on the topic:

    Thanks for your other information. There is a lot to learn.

    Best regards.

  18. So many misinformed people. if they did the research on this they would see its much needed to preserve the other species in Alaska or any other state. when the predators outweigh the food they die a horrible miserable life. not nice to see. Man has played a predatory role since the beginning of time. just look at massachusetts and see what they have lost since they stopped trapping that state. they are close to opening it again, because they cant afford the losses…. all wildlife everywhere is funded by sportsman, every program,tree huggers not a dime.. and when you give your money to these animal groups not one cent is spent to save animals. do the research, and see for yourselfes. all programs are funded in every state thru the sportsmans in those states. Wolfes are nice, but not when you to many.very dangerous to society.

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