Fact Sheet: Protect Alaska’s Wildlife in National Preserves

One of the most important rule changes for Alaska’s wildlife is up for public comment, and we need your help. 

View our Fact Sheet, complete with information on the rule change, how to comment, and facts to add to your comment here: 

2018 Proposed Rule Change on Hunting and Trapping in National Preserves Fact Sheet

Alaska Wildlife Alliance believes that the PROPOSED RULE to “apply the State of Alaska’s hunting regulations to national preserve lands” in Alaska by removing the 2015 wildlife protections MUST BE REJECTED because:

  1. it is inconsistent with Federal laws or regulations. 
  2. it is scientifically unjustified, procedurally flawed, and arbitrary and capricious.
  3. it violates the basic principles of wildlife conservation. 
  4. it is not in the best interest of all Americans.
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In an interview about the proposed rule change, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, said:

“The Trump administration’s decision to roll back these sensible animal protections is outrageous. Without this ban, the hunting of bear cubs and wolf pups in their dens and the shooting of bears from airplanes will return,” he said. “Without wildlife, our national preserves are just scenery. These practices have no place on our public lands and in our society.”

The chair of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks said the proposed rule “sounds nothing like the Park Service I know.” Phil Francis, who’s also a retired park service employee with more than four decades of experience, said the agency is mandated to conserve wildlife under the law that established it, not exploit it through these despicable hunting practices. You don’t have to be an avid hunter to know that killing bears with cubs in their dens or shooting swimming caribou from a moving motorboat are simply wrong.”

The National Parks Conservation Association called the proposal “a shocking reversal of common-sense wildlife management regulations in Alaska,” and said brown-bear baiting at the Denali National Park and Preserve, Arctic National Park and Preserve and Noatak National Preserve would start immediately once the proposal is approved. “Trapping wolves in dens during the season when they’re sleeping would start at the Katmai National Park and Preserve,” the association said.

The group pointed to the Park Service’s failed attempts to negotiate with the state over hunting methods before proposing and finalizing the current rule. During that period, the Park Service in Alaska argued more than 60 times that the state’s hunting methods were inappropriate on federal land, said Jim Adams, the group’s Alaska director.

“Now, with this rule, the state can engage in an escalating war on wolves, bears and cubs to increase caribou herds for hunting,” Adams said. “It’s hard to imagine the Park Service on the ground being eager to push back on the state. Sport hunting … that’s what this is all about. The state is trying to empower hunters in as many ways as possible to reduce populations of predators.”

“If the administration has its way, it will be perfectly legal for sport hunters to lure bears with greased donut bait piles to kill them,said Theresa Pierno, president and chief executive officer of NPCA. “Or to crawl into bear dens to kill hibernating females and their cubs. This activity is cruel and has no place on Alaska’s national park lands.”

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