Wilderness Watch is fighting the Trump Administration’s proposal to bring cruel “hunting” practices back to our National Preserves in Alaska. Former Secretary of the Interior Zinke proposed to roll back a 2015 National Park Service (NPS) rule banning some unethical practices on 19 million acres of National Preserves in Alaska, which includes millions of acres of Wilderness. National Preserves in Alaska are managed by the NPS similarly to National Parks, except some hunting is allowed. The rule codifed temporary restrictions in place for sport hunters only; subsistence hunters are not affected.
The Action Alternative in the Environmental Assessment (EA) released in September 2018 would reverse current NPS regulations prohibiting unethical and barbaric practices in our National Preserves and Wildernesses in Alaska. The Administration is trying to re-instate the following practices, which have no place in wildlife management, let alone in National Preserves:
• Killing mother bears and cubs in their dens;
• Baiting brown and black bears with donuts or other human foods;
• Killing wolves and coyotes with pups during their denning season;
• Shooting caribou from boats or shore as they cross lakes or rivers;
• Indiscriminate and cruel trapping;
• Using dogs to hunt bears.
Bears, wolves, caribou, and other native wildlife are an integral part of what makes these places truly wild. They should be free from human manipulation in these Preserves and their Wildernesses. Nature should be allowed to shape these wild places and natural processes should be allowed to determine wildlife populations and distribution. Wilderness Watch will continue to work to keep the 2015 NPS rule in place and protect wildlife and the integrity of Wilderness in our Preserves.
Additional information on the NPS regulations:
The NPS regulations ban wolf and coyote killing only from May 1 to Aug. 9, and also codify a State of Alaska provision prohibiting any disruption of lawful hunting activities. Wilderness Watch recommended against this provision because it could infringe upon the activities of one group of citizens in favor of exclusive use by another group (hunters). This could have significant consequences for equal use of our public lands in the future.