The Department of the Interior is reversing direction and attempting to dismantle recently finalized hunting regulations on lands managed by the National Park Service.
Sport hunting rules for national preserves in Alaska are set by the state-run Board of Game. Over the past 20 years, the Board has increased aggressive hunting methods that target bears and wolves, including cubs and pups. These actions are driven by a “predator control” strategy of reducing bear and wolf populations to allow moose and caribou populations to increase — so that sport hunters can kill them.
Why is this important?
On Alaska’s national park lands, bears and wolves are in the crosshairs. While sport hunting is allowed in national preserves, this #UnBearable manipulation of wildlife populations is expressly prohibited by Congress and National Park Service management policies.
Sport hunting regulations must not conflict with Congress’ will and National Park Service policies and purposes. It’s the law. The state’s “predator control” approach presents a clear conflict.
Between 2001 and 2014, NPCA documented over 60 instances where the Alaska Board of Game ignored Park Service requests to keep “predator control” out of our national preserves.
After years of this cycle, the Park Service began a public process with the American people to address the long-standing conflict. More than 70,000 comments were received. In response, the Park Service adopted a set of regulation changes in 2015 to protect bear and wolf populations on national preserves. NPCA supports the final regulations, which include:
- No use of bait (donuts, grease-soaked bread, etc.) to hunt bears.
- No use of artificial light to kill black bears while they are hibernating, including mothers and cubs.
- No killing of wolves or coyotes (including pups) when they are denning and pelts have little value.
- No intentional killing of any species to manipulate natural predator-prey dynamics.
Now, new leadership at the Department of the Interior could overturn these protections for bears and wolves that NPCA and its supporters have worked for years to help establish. NPCA will continue to fight to keep these regulations in place.
Nearly 31,000 Took Action to Protect Alaska's Wolves and Bears
National park advocates sent letters to the National Park Service asking it to adopt permanent hunting regulations in Alaska to protect wildlife.
More than 17,000 Advocates Speak Up for Alaska Wildlife
Thousands of national park advocates sent letters to Alaska Governor Bill Walker asking him to withdraw a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior that could dismantle regulations to protect bears and wolves.
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