The proposal would overturn an Obama-era ban on extreme hunting practices.
Photo via USDA Forest Service Alaska/Flickr.
In April 2017, President Donald Trump overturned an Obama-era protection banning inhumane hunting practices throughout 76.8 million acres of federally protected land in Alaska. Trump’s repeal of the executive order allowed hunters to shoot and kill hibernating bears in dens and to rain bullets down on wildlife from the safety of helicopters.
Now, in 2018, the Trump administration is looking to double down on its cruel wildlife policies by lifting a ban on extreme hunting in another 20 million acres of federal land in Alaska. The amendment would allow hunters to shoot swimming caribou from boats, kill coyote and bear pups sleeping in their dens, and lure black and brown bears using artificial lights.
Proponents of the amendment believe it increases hunting opportunities while making federal and state laws consistent.
“This proposed rule will reconsider NPS efforts in Alaska for improved alignment of hunting regulations on national preserves with State of Alaska regulations, and to enhance consistency with harvest regulations on surrounding non-federal lands and waters,” said Bert Frost, the park service’s regional director.
Opponents of the amendment think it’s heartless.
“The Trump administration has somehow reached a new low in protecting wildlife,” Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, said in a statement. “Allowing the killing of bear cubs and wolf pups in their dens is barbaric and inhumane. The proposed regulations cast aside the very purpose of national parks to protect wildlife and wild places.”
The Humane Society has also spoken out against the proposal.
“These federal lands are havens for wildlife and the National Park Service is mandated to manage these ecosystems in a manner that promotes conservation,” Anna Frostic, a lawyer for the animal rights group, said in a statement. “This proposed rule, which would allow inhumane killing of our native carnivores in a misguided attempt to increase trophy hunting opportunities, is unlawful and must not be finalized.”
Before the amendment is signed into law it must first go through a 60-day comment period. To make your voice heard on the issue, you can leave a comment here.