Trump Administration Proposes End to Ban on Alaskan Hunting Practices
July 11, 2018
The National Park Service recently issued a proposed rule seeking to rescind Obama-era regulations prohibiting various hunting methods on national preserve lands in Alaska. The proposed regulation would permit harvesting practices including: taking any black bear, including cubs and sows with cubs, with artificial light at den sites; harvesting brown bears while using bait; and taking wolves and coyotes (including pups) during the denning season when their pelts have little trophy, economic, or subsistence value.
Unlike national parks, hunters and fishermen are permitted to take or trap fish and wildlife for sport and subsistence purposes on the over twenty million acres of national preserve land in Alaska. The conflicting regulations over the Alaskan preserve lands stem in part from conflicting wildlife management policies. Alaska bases its wildlife management scheme on sustained yield in which seeks to perpetually maintain wildlife populations in order to support high levels of human harvesting. The National Park Services, rather, implements management policies maintain the natural abundance, behavior, and diversity of native wildlife.
By 2005, Alaska had permitted the aforementioned controversial hunting methods. The 2015 regulation prohibited the hunting practices which were authorized by Alaska. The new proposed regulation seeks to walk back the 2015 prohibitions by applying Alaskan hunting regulations to the national preserve lands. The public comment period for the proposed regulation closes July 23, 2018.
For more information, see:
36 C.F.R. §§ 13.42(f)-(g) (2017)
Alaska; Hunting and Trapping in National Preserves, 83 Fed. Reg. 23621-01 (proposed May 22, 2018) (https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-05-22/pdf/2018-10735.pdf)
Alaska; Hunting and Trapping in National Preserves, 80 Fed. Reg. 64325 (Oct. 23 2015) (https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-10-23/pdf/2015-26813.pdf)