Press Release Jul 19, 2017

Shameful: Interior Department Calls to Reopen Hunting Regulations on National Park Service Lands

On July 14, 2017, the Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks issued a memo to the Acting Director of the National Park Service to reconsider the Alaska state-wide hunting regulations, which were finalized in 2015.

Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO of National Parks Conservation Association

“Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s directive to the National Park Service is shameful. The National Park Service must have the authority to prevent the potentially indiscriminate killing of bears and their cubs on national parklands. The directive also ignores the years of work, taxpayer dollars and the individuals who spoke up in support of bears and wolves on national park land in Alaska during the lengthy public process. More than 70,000 Americans said ‘no’ to baiting bears with grease-soaked donuts in Denali. They said ‘no’ to sport hunters crawling into bears’ dens and using flashlights to wake and kill mother bears and their cubs on lands managed by the National Park Service. On behalf of National Parks Conservation Association’s more than 1.3 million supporters, we say ‘no’ to this attempt to dismantle the results of this public process and jeopardize the stewardship of our national park lands, which belong to all Americans.”

Background On July 14, 2017, the Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks issued a memo to the Acting Director of the National Park Service to reconsider the Alaska state-wide hunting regulations, which were finalized in 2015. The directive calls to examine “prohibitions that directly contradict State of Alaska authorizations and wildlife management decisions…for sport hunting and commercial trapping on National Park Service lands.”

In 2015, after more than a decade of trying to work with the State of Alaska’s Board of Game to no avail, the Park Service moved forward with commonsense regulations to protect bears, wolves and other predators on national preserves from state predator control regulations. The final Park Service regulations for national preserves, where sport hunting is allowed, include:

  • No use of bait (donuts, grease-soaked bread, etc.) to hunt bears;
  • No use of artificial light to spotlight dens to kill black bears;
  • No killing of bear cubs or sows with cubs.

Learn more at www.npca.org/unbearable

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About National Parks Conservation Association Since 1919, the nonpartisan has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.3 million supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.