Tim Pearce, DCNF
The Department of the Interior (DOI) is proposing to roll back Obama-era regulations barring some hunting practices in Alaska allowed by the state, The Hill reported.
The National Park Service (NPS) formally proposed the rule change Monday, publishing the motion in the Federal Register. The new rule would give the states back their authority to regulate hunting within their boundaries, according to The Hill.
Former-President Barack Obama’s administration prohibited certain hunting practices in 2015. In practice, the rule targeted Alaska by outlawing many hunting strategies used by Alaskans and others to hunt the state’s local wildlife. The Obama administration forbid the use of artificial light to hunt black bears near dens, using dogs to hunt black bears, using bait to hunt brown bears, hunting wolves and coyotes during denning season, using motorboats to hunt caribou, and hunting swimming caribou.
“These rules especially hurt rural Alaskans where hunting and fishing for food is not a historical footnote; it is a day to day reality,” Alaska Professional Hunters Association President Sam Rohrer said in a statement after suing the DOI over the Obama-era rule Feb. 10.
“Alaska is world renowned for its management of fish and game. Biologists from around the world admire and respect our managers; even to the point of traveling to my home Island of Kodiak to learn about bear management principles,” Rohrer added. “These rules are a misguided attempt to impose urban values on the most rural state in America.”
Environmentalist slammed President Donald Trump’s administration’s proposal, characterizing it as an attempt to reinstate “barbaric” hunting practices of “killing of bear cubs and wolf pups in their dens.”
“The Trump administration has somehow reached a new low in protecting wildlife,” Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark said in a statement. “The proposed regulations cast aside the very purpose of national parks to protect wildlife and wild places. The National Park Service should not accept Alaska’s extreme predator control program as a suitable method of managing wildlife and their habitat.”
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