It sounds sketchy because it is—using spotlights in dens to kill grizzly sows with cubs, wolves with cubs, or using donuts to bait grizzlies, or dogs to hunt black bears.
Yet right now, the Department of the Interior has proposed rules allowing these kinds of extreme hunting practices in national parks. Yes, you heard that right—in our national parks in Alaska where people from around the world visit to see these animals in the wild.
The State of Alaska and National Park Service have had an agreement for over four decades in how to manage wildlife on federal conservation lands in Alaska. The Alaska Statehood Act, National Park Service Organic Act and the Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act inform that agreement.
The specific purpose of that agreement is to protect and conserve natural diversity in Alaska’s national parks. Now, Interior wants to undermine that intent and law in the name of turning national parks into game parks.
Contrary to science, contrary to purpose
Many Alaskans have spoken out about why these practices have no place in national preserves, are contrary to science and the purpose of national parks, and would reward unethical hunters at the expense of natural wildlife diversity, recreation, wildlife viewing, and other purposes.
“There is no legitimate purpose that justifies this nonsensical decimation of our national park wildlife,” said Tony Knowles, former governor of Alaska and the chair of the National Parks Advisory Board from 2010 to 2018.
Trustees has represented clients on predator control issues for decades–we brought the lawsuit that established that the constitutional principle of sustained yield applies to predators as well as prey–and we will continue to fight for wildlife practices founded on science and public interest in the months and years to come.
We submitted comments to oppose the latest proposal to allow extreme predator practices on national preserves and encourage you to do the same. The comment period ends in days.