Trump Administration Seeks to Amend Alaskan Hunting Regulations on Preserves

Hunting bears with spotlights and shooting swimming caribou from a boat would become legal once again under these proposed changes. 

As a means to better align federal regulations with Alaska hunting and trapping regulations, the Trump administration announced plans to reverse regulations on various hunting and trapping methods on national preserves.

In 2015, the Obama administration enacted federal laws barring practices such as baiting brown bears, hunting black bears with dogs, and spotlighting and shooting black bear mothers and cubs hibernating in dens. These rules also banned killing wolves and pups in their dens, as well as shooting swimming caribou from a motorized boat to occur.

On May 21, the National Park Service announced its intent to amend regulations and make these practices legal once again.

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"The conservation of wildlife and habitat for future generations is a goal we share with Alaska," said Bert Frost, the park service's regional director. "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."

Wildlife advocacy groups have expressed their outrage at the reversal of regulations, condemning the practices as cruel and inhumane.

The Humane Society of the United States is one group that states it'll oppose the new rules.

"These federal lands are havens for wildlife and the National Park Service is mandated to manage these ecosystems in a manner that promotes conservation," said Anna Frostic, a lawyer for the animal rights group. "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."

There are 10 national preserves in Alaska, covering nearly 37,000 square miles.

Members of the public can comment on the proposed new regulations HERE. The deadline is July 23, 2018.

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