Alaska aborts anti-ESA ad campaign

In February, Alaska lawmakers decided to launch a $1.5 million public relations campaign against the Endangered Species Act, and specifically against the listing of the polar bear as a threatened species. Later, they toned it down a bit, planning to use the money to hold a conference on polar bear listing and ask PR firms “to evaluate whether a public relations campaign . . . could diminish negative economic effects of the Endangered Species Act.”

Now it appears that even that proposal is dead. According to the Anchorage Daily News:

The Alaska Legislature is about to abandon a planned public relations effort aimed at fighting the Endangered Species Act. . . . The Legislature planned to put on a conference on the Endangered Species Act and use the findings in a public relations campaign. The campaign would be aimed at creating a “grass-roots” call for limits on the Endangered Species Act, including how it’s applied to Alaska’s polar bears and beluga whales. . . . But enthusiasm for the effort fizzled over the last several weeks, legislators said, with some saying it could create a black eye for Alaska if it came across as though politicians were directing the science.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the state has changed its anti-conservation attitude. It is still pursuing its legal challenge to the polar bear listing.

Reader Comments

About Holly

Holly Doremus is the James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation at UC Berkeley. Doremus brings a strong background in life sciences and a comm…

READ more