Alert: The National Park Service needs your comment to protect Alaska’s wolves and bears!

Please help us stand with the feds to limit the state’s egregious predator control!

The National Park Service (NPS) has taken a courageous stand against the Alaska Department of Fish & Game and the Alaska Board of Game for the protection of bears and wolves. The Park Service will undoubtedly face staunch opposition from the Board of Game and rabid criticism from many hunters for its proposal to ban the following egregious predator control (killing) methods:

* baited snare sites to attract grizzly bears,
* spotlighting (to locate and then kill) denned black bears,
* shooting wolf mothers with dependent pups, and
* shooting bear sows with dependent cubs

The Park Service has proposed banning these activities on the approximately 20 million acres of land designated as “national preserves” it manages in Alaska. The Alaska Board of Game’s longstanding insistence that predator control programs apply to lands managed by the feds is a threat to the Park Service’s ability to sustain natural and healthy wolf and bear populations.

The proposed regulations would apply in the following national preserves: Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, Glacier Bay, Yukon-Charley Rivers, Gates of the Arctic, Noatak, Bering Land Bridge, Lake Clark, Katmai, Aniakchak, and the Alagnak Wild River. (Note: “preserves” are managed in the same manner as national parks, but by law are open to sport hunting. The proposed regulations would affect the 1.3 million acres of land designated as “preserve” within Denali National Park and Preserve’s 6 million total acres.)

Please take a moment to write to the NPS to express your strong support for its proposal to ban these barbaric predator control methods. The agency desperately needs broad public support for this action, which surely will draw unbelievable fire from the well-funded and politically influential hunting organizations both in Alaska and the Lower 48.

Please show your support for Alaska’s wildlife by sending comments via e-mail or snail mail. Comments will be accepted until Dec. 3, 2014.

Email:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=NPS-2014-0004-0001
(You may wish to first write your comments, then paste them into the comment box provided on that page.)

Mail:
Joel Hard, Deputy Regional Manager
National Park Service
240 W 5th Ave.
Anchorage, AK 99501

Below is a sample letter. Please feel free to personalize the letter or write a comment in your own words – these can have a much greater impact than form comments. You may also use the draft of AWA’s comment letter,  and the NPS press release.

Please note: a Facebook chat on the proposal will be held later this month, and public hearings on the proposed ban will be held in locations across Alaska in October and November. We will be sending a list of these dates and times in a separate email Alert.

Thank you for supporting AWA and Alaska’s wildlife.

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Sample letter:

Joel Hard, Deputy Regional Manager
National Park Service

RE: Hunting and Trapping Regulations in Alaska National Preserves
RIN: 1024-AE21

Dear Mr. Hard;

Thank you for standing up to the Alaska Board of Game by proposing regulations to permanently prohibit snaring, brown bear baiting, use of artificial light to locate and then kill hibernating bears, taking wolves when they are with pups, and killing bear cubs and sows with cubs on our national preserve lands.

I strongly support your approval of these proposed regulations.

Such targeted killing of top predators ignores the resulting long-term and possibly irreversible negative impacts on entire ecosystems. No doubt these Intensive Management programs will eventually have a detrimental effect on the very species – primarily moose and caribou – which they seek to increase, solely for the benefit of hunters.

The NPS is directed by Congress to protect natural and healthy populations of wildlife. Manipulation of wildlife populations to benefit other species (such as those being hunted) is specifically prohibited in the NPS Management Policies, which states: “The Service does not engage in activities to reduce the numbers of native species for the purpose of increasing the numbers of harvested species (i.e., predator control), nor does the Service permit others to do so on lands managed by the National Park Service.”

I ask that you follow the above directive and implement the proposed ban on the state’s abhorrent and ill-conceived intensive management program on national preserve lands in Alaska.

Being able to see bears and wolves in Alaska’s national preserves is an experience that I want to ensure is safeguarded for my generation and those to come.

Again, I ask that you approve these proposed hunting regulations. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Address]
[City, State ZIP]