Tag Archives: Predators

Veto #HJResolution69

As you know, Congress passed a measure, under the CRA, authored by Representative Don Young, which would undo the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule. The resolution will now be sent to the White House for the Presidential signature. If the measure of disapproval is enacted and signed by the President, not only does it strike down the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule, but will also prevent USFWS from ever promulgating “substantially the same rule” without explicit authorization from Congress. 

Our only hope in stopping this abhorrent piece of legislation is a veto by the President. Note: Congress can override a veto with a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate (If this occurs, though more than likely would not, the measure becomes law over the President’s objection).

Following is a small set of tweets to send to President Trump, as well as a simple copy and paste email. This, my friends, is the grand finale, our final hope in stopping animal cruelty from resuming on our National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska.

Before I let you get on with it, there is one important matter that needs to be clarified:

Joint resolutions are like bills, in that they require the approval of both Chambers, in identical form, and the President’s signature, to become law (unless used for proposing amendments to the Constitution).

H.J.Resolution 69 passed the House on February 16, 2017. The measure was then sent to the Senate for consideration and passed on March 21, 2017. The Senate was not considering S.J.Resolution 18. The resolution does not change in any form, including it’s title. H.J. Resolution 69 now goes to the President for signing. Please tap above links to see the progress of both resolutions (you will see that S.J.Resolution 18 is still in committee). Sending tweets with a hashtag referring to S.J.Res.18 are incorrect. 
Several organizations believed that the Senate version would be brought to the floor for a vote, and alerted their members to call/email their Senators asking them to oppose the Senate resolution. This has created a huge mixup, as the version voted on was from the House. Other organizations, on the other hand, have asked you to address the correct resolution, which is H.J.Res.69. So I ask you, please do not tweet “SJRes18”, it is no longer part of the equation. 

But, who am I, and why should you believe me. Fair enough:

Let me give you an example. Another measure introduced under the CRA was the Disapproval of the Stream Protection Rule,  H.J.Resolution 38. This measure was introduced in the House January 30, 2017 and passed two days later. This disgraceful resolution was then rushed over to the Senate, and passed the very next day. H.J.Resolution 38 was then presented to the President who signed it into law 2 weeks later (10 days after receiving it). Meanwhile, the Senate version, S.J.Resolution 10, like S.J.Resolution 18, with the same language as its counterpart in the House, remained in Committee and was never brought to the floor. Again, tap above links and see for yourself. That being said, I hope that you please stick to the hashtag: HJResolution69.  

Onward. 

Please copy and paste the following letter and send to President Trump here. 

Dear President Trump,

In 2003 the Alaska Board of Game began to aggressively apply controversial “intensive predator management” practices over a large portion of the state. These abhorrent practices continued in every game management unit with efforts to lengthen hunting/trapping seasons for wolves (as well as increasing bag limits) to opening seasons when pups were young and helpless; bears were snared and trapped-body parts sold. Private pilots, over a hundred, were licensed to shoot wolves from the air. The program eliminated the need for hunters to obtain or purchase hunting tags or permits for predators, thereby permitting the “incidental” taking of these animals; same day airborne hunting and trapping which allow taking the same day one flies in an aircraft; allowing easier and greater use of motor vehicles while hunting to increase the hunter’s advantage; expanding the allowable means and methods of hunting for predators, like baiting or feeding, thereby creating additional opportunities for taking; allowing the sale of raw hides and skulls thereby creating economic incentives for taking; and many others.

Clearly, existing mandates for the conservation of natural and biological integrity and environmental health on refuges in Alaska were disregarded, prompting USFWS to issue the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule, which formally established a goal of biodiversity as the guiding principle of  federal management of wildlife refuges. The rule made it quite clear it would have no impact on subsistence hunters.  

The Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule follows the law and manages the refuges as Congress intended. Signing H.J.Resolution 69 into law would unleash cruel, egregious, aggressive, sustained slaughter purportedly aimed at increasing ungulate herds, whilst defying the need for a balanced ecosystem and the predator-prey relationship. H.J. Resolution 69 would undue a rule that, in all actuality, helps maintain a balanced ecosystem necessary for the future of subsistence hunting. “The Service fully recognizes and considers that rural residents are dependent on refuge resources and manages for this use consistent with the conservation of species and habitats in their natural diversity.”  

The states do not have a right to dictate what happens on our National Wildlife Refuges, and I ask that you veto H.J. Resolution 69. 

Thank you for your time and consideration of this extremely urgent matter.

Regards,
Your name

 The Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131) states that wilderness “is hereby recognized as an area which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural condition…freedom of a landscape from the human intent to permanently intervene, alter, control, or manipulate natural conditions or processes.”

TWEETS (All tweets are automated, just tap ” Tweet4Wolves” at the end of each message, be sure to close your twitter window prior to tweeting) :   

1. The aerial hunting of wolves is a tragedy beyond description @POTUS Veto #HJResolution69  bit.ly/AerialHunt   Tweet4Wolves  

2. Veto #HJResolution69 Please tweet this link: bit.ly/2nBiTw9   Tweet4Wolves

3. Call @POTUS Tell him to Veto #HJResolution69  202-456-1111  pic.twitter.com/78OD7bp7oK      Tweet4Wolves 

4. Activities in wildlife preserves remain subject to Federal Law, including mandates under ANLICA. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

5. Since 1994 #Alaska has prioritized human consumptive use of ungulates compromising biological integrity! Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

 6. BOG designates ungulate populations as highest priority use, setting objectives 4 abundance for consumptive use Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

7. To that end, BOG must “adopt regulations to provide for I.M.programs disrupting natural diversity! Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves 

8. Alaska’s targeted reduction of wolves/bears impact wildlife resources, natural systems & ecological processes Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

9. The Intensive Predator Management also impacts conservation and management of species on adjacent Refuges Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves  

10. #Alaska regulations increase take of predators to a degree that disrupts natural processes. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS   Tweet4Wolves 

11. BOG allows”harvest”of brown bears at registered black bear bait stations, in direct conflict w/refuge mandates Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

12. #Alaska allows taking wolves & coyotes, including pups, during denning season! Veto #HJResolution69 which sanctions #AnimalCruelty @POTUS    Tweet4Wolves

13. #Alaska expanded predator season lengths inconsistent with maintaining predator/prey balance. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

14. #Alaska game board increased bag limits of predators inconsistent with maintaining predator/prey balance. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves 

15. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS #Alaska classified black bears as both furbearers and big game species…1. pic.twitter.com/5E2TBBVtLK  Tweet4Wolves

16. 2. which could allow 4 trapping/snaring & sale of hides & skulls creating economic incentives Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

 17. Veto #HJResolution69 which would allow same-day airborne take of bears at registered bait stations (5 AAC 85) 2 resume @POTUS   Tweet4Wolves

 18. Alaska’s mgmt of wildlife is in direct opposition to legal framework applicable 2 mgmt of the NWR. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves

19. Aerial shooting of wolves and bears by State agency personal would resume under #HJResolution69 Veto #AnimalCruelty @POTUS   Tweet4Wolves 

20. Trapping of wolves by paid contractors would resume under #HJResolution69 Veto this cruelty @POTUS  pic.twitter.com/5E2TBBVtLK    Tweet4Wolves

21. Same-day airborne hunting of #wolves & #bears by the public would resume under #HJResolution69 Veto it! @POTUS  pic.twitter.com/rdabINLWa5   Tweet4Wolves

22. #HJResolution69 allows for the take of any black/brown bears through snaring & baiting by public! Veto the measure @POTUS Tweet4Wolves 

23. 13 of the 16 Refuges in #Alaska contain land within game GMUs designated for “intensive predator management” Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves  

24. BOGs liberalized regulations 4 hunting/trapping wolves, bears, coyotes reverse long standing prohibitions. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves 

25. #HJResolution69 would negate a rule which did not change subsistence regulations @POTUS  pic.twitter.com/5E2TBBVtLK   Tweet4Wolves 

26. #HJResolution69 would negate a rule which did not restrict subsistence take @POTUS  pic.twitter.com/5E2TBBVtLK   Tweet4Wolves 

27. The rule did not affect State hunting/regulations consistent with Federal law and refuge policies. Veto #HJResolution69 @POTUS Tweet4Wolves  

28. Veto #HJResolution69 which sanctions #AnimalCruelty on wildlife refuges in #Alaska @POTUS  pic.twitter.com/78OD7bp7oK    Tweet4Wolves 

29. #HJResolution69 would allow nonresident “take” of bears cubs or sows with cubs at dens sites! Veto this abhorrent measure @POTUS  Tweet4Wolves 

30. #HJResolution69 would undo a rule necessary for the future of subsistence hunting: http://bit.ly/2nMfkE4   pic.twitter.com/rdabINLWa5   Tweet4Wolves


    Copyright © 2017  [COPYRIGHT Intheshadowofthewolf, name and webpage]. All Rights Reserved.

    Hey, Congress~Leave Those Wolves Alone

    U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) won passage of an amendment which would strip federal protection for endangered gray wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes states onto the so-called Sportsmen’s Act in Congress (.S. 659).

    Barrassos’ amendment  mirrors a bill he recently introduced with Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) and would subvert two federal court rulings, legislatively removing wolves from the federal list of endangered species for purely political reasons. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) also secured an amendment to block a proposed new rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which would limit predator control in national wildlife refuges. This proposed rule, which I encourage you to support here, would stop the worst predator control and killing practices on national wildlife refuges in Alaska, such as brown bear baiting, and aerial gunning of wolves.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stripped federal protections from gray wolves in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota in 2011 and in Wyoming in 2012, marking the beginning of nothing less of a bloodbath. For example, last summer the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced its annual wolf population survey numbers which revealed that almost 100 wolf packs (25 percent) were eliminated from 2014 to early 2015. Minnesota’s wolf population is now down to nearly 1988 levels. Another example of poor governance was seen when in 2011 a policy rider (the first time legislation has ever removed ESA protections for a species) on a key appropriations bill, stripped Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Montana and Idaho. In the three years that followed, more than 1,956 wolves had been killed in just these the two states. Should this shameful “Sportsmen’s Act” pass into law, Barrasso’s amendment would circumvent the usual delisting process, effectively remove federal protection from gray wolves, and ensure that this decision could not be challenged in federal court.

    Politicians should not be injecting themselves (with stand alone bills, amendments or riders on must pass legislation) into what should be science based decisions. 

    Political greed should never prevail over sound science. Please contact your congressional members and be a voice for the voiceless, be a voice for the gray wolf.
    Tell Congress that you #StandForWolves and oppose any legislation that would remove protections for wolves. Tap the links to each bill (below) to oppose via Popvox, or, if you rather, oppose them via democracy.io, here. Please note: If you have already opposed these bills, please voice your opposition again via democracy.io which allows you to comment on legislation more than once. At the end of this blog post you will find my comments in opposition to these bills. Feel free to utilize my information in your comment, and please join our facebook event and tweetstorm.

    S. 659 BIPARTISAN SPORTSMEN’S ACT OF 2015 *

    H.R. 884 REISSUING FINAL RULES REGARDING GRAY WOLVES IN THE WESTERN GREAT LAKES

    H.R. 843 THE WESTERN GREAT LAKES WOLF MANAGEMENT ACT

    H.R. 1985 THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST GRAY WOLF MANAGEMENT ACT

    S. 2281 A BILL TO DIRECT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO REISSUE FINAL RULES RELATING TO LISTING OF THE GRAY WOLF IN THE WESTERN GREAT LAKES AND WYOMING  (Senate version of H.R. 884)

    Senator Johnson has also added a wolf delisting amendment to this bill as well. Please oppose and find newly added comment against this legislation at end:

    S. 2012 ENERGY POLICY MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2015

    1443662052223.jpg

     

    *Related Bills (Legislative action may be occurring on one of these bills in lieu of or in parallel to action on this bill).

    S. 405  Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015

    H.R. 2406  SHARE Act (house version of the Senate Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act)

    Please sign and share the following petitions:

    This petition must be signed by February 9th: TELL CONGRESS: KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OUR WOLVES

    Help shut down Congress’ sneak attack on wolves via NRDC: Sign this

    Protect Wolves from Congressional Attacks via Endangered Species Coalition: bit.ly/1hUjF1e Sign this

    Protect the ESA From Political Attacks via Earthjustice: bit.ly/1fKGOSn Sign this

    Related content:

    Wolves thrown under bus by Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act amendment approval

    Opposition to bills:

    Opposition to S. 659:

    I oppose S. 659, The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, which is comprised of numerous, irresponsible, pro-hunting and anti-environment regulations, and represents a clear assault on wildlife. This omnibus bill combines many bad bills related to environmental resources into one. There are several problematic portions with dire implications for wildlife and the ecosystems they need in order to thrive. This bill panders to special interests and sacrifices smart conservation policy for political cache with damaging anti-wildlife “poison pill” amendments including a provision which would strip Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes region and a provision prohibiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from blocking anti-predator measures proposed by the State of Alaska for bears, wolves and other carnivores on national wildlife refuges in that state.
    S. 659 would permanently exempt lead fishing tackle from any regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Lead is an extremely toxic substance that is dangerous to people and wildlife at any level. Lead (a potent and dangerous neurotoxin) found in fishing tackle as well as ammunition is the cause for an estimated 10-20 million animal deaths each year in the United States after ingesting lead shot, bullet fragments, and sport fishing waste. Another abhorrent provision of the bill would allow for approximately 40 polar bear trophies to be imported into the United States. When polar bears were protected under the Endangered Species Act in 2008, all import of polar bear hunting trophies was prohibited. Despite having 16 months of notice of the impending prohibition, a number of hunters went forward with hunts anyway. The hunters were given repeated warnings that trophy imports would likely not be allowed into the United States as of the date the species was formally designated as “threatened.” If this legislation is enacted, it will accelerate the pace of killing of any species proposed for listing in the future.
    These are just several of the horrific provisions of this bill, which would destroy years of work done by animal protection advocates, environmentalists, and conservationists to protect endangered species and other wildlife.  Such blind dedication to implementing recreational killing is detrimental to both conservation efforts and goes against the wishes of the majority of Americans, and their desire to protect the wilderness and wildlife. This is yet another disgraceful bill which I oppose.

    Opposition to S 2281:

    I oppose S. 2281. The future of the American gray wolf may become very grim as the war against the wolf continues with Congress’ aggressive, officious interference in wolf conservation with proposed legislation that undermines the Endangered Species Act. Politicians should not be injecting themselves into what should be a science-based decision. S.2281 and would reverse court orders, wiping out Endangered Species Act protection for approximately 4,000 wolves that live in four states (Wyoming and the western Great Lakes states). The energies of politicians would be better spent on pragmatic efforts that help people learn how to live with large carnivores. We must learn to respect, rebuild and conserve ecosystems not just by simple fixes, such as reintroducing species, but by finding ways to mitigate the conflicts that originally caused their loss. This bill serves as the Senate companion to the bipartisan House bill introduced by Reps. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) earlier this year and would “allow the Great Lakes states to continue the effective work they are doing in managing wolf populations without tying the hands of the Fish and Wildlife Service or undermining the Endangered Species Act”, yet the horrific slaughter of wolves directly after delisting in Wisconsin was an abomination. One would indeed call it “effective work” if the goal was to extirpate the wolves. In Wisconsin, the population of wolves was just 800 in 2011, yet in a matter of three years (since delisting), Wisconsin has lost at least 518 wolves to legalized hunting, hounding, trapping and annual unenforced quota overkills. The 518 wolves killed does not include wolves killed at the request of livestock operators for “depredation control” (170) or wolves killed on roadways every year (25). In addition, it is difficult for agency staff to estimate how many wolves are poached, which is estimated, conservatively at 100 a year. Considering annual wolf pup mortality at up to 75 percent, and the human take of wolves (in Wisconsin), this has been a disaster of catastrophic proportions. Hardly a wolf management plan integrating the “best available science”. This moral bankruptcy and ineptness is not a way to treat a species recently removed from the ESA. I vehemently oppose this and any other legislation that would remove protections for wolves.

    Opposition to HR 843 and HR 884:

    Politicians should not inject themselves into what should be a science-based decision. Please oppose anti-wolf Legislation HR 843 / HR 884 and oppose all efforts in this Congress to remove existing federal protections for wolves. The energies of politicians would be better spent on pragmatic efforts that help people learn how to live with large carnivores. In the long run, we will conserve ecosystems not just by simple fixes, such as reintroducing species, but by finding ways to mitigate the conflicts that originally caused their loss. Adversaries of wolf protective legislation continue their court battles against the wolves, but now those on the side of the wolves have an important weapon in their arsenal — the restoration of entire ecosystems (even if such benefits are not immediately obvious). The loss of major predators in forest ecosystems has allowed game animal populations to greatly increase, crippling the growth of young trees and reducing biodiversity. This also contributes to deforestation and results in less carbon sequestration, a potential concern with climate change. The Endangered Species Act requires science-based standards, not politics, for adding or removing protections from a particular species, but recently Congress has used must-pass bills to dodge this process. Any congressional initiative to remove Endangered Species Act protection from wolves (including via riders) must be denied. This species is endangered in most of the nation and needs continued protection to survive and recover. After three decades of federal protection, and painstaking efforts by federal biologists, gray wolves are just beginning to reestablish stable populations, with the obvious and overwhelming support of the majority of the American public. With the safety net of the Endangered Species Act, the wolf was able to return to portions of its native range in the Lower Forty-Eight. However, although wolves have recovered in some states, the North American population as a whole is nowhere near its historic range and thus merits continued federal protection. Judges have repeatedly overturned rules stripping wolves of their federal protection — with barely over 10 percent of suitable wolf habitat currently occupied and almost constant threats to their safety, these apex predators still desperately need the Act’s protection to survive. Wolves are essential.

    Opposition to HR 1985:

    I oppose H.R. 1985 The Pacific Northwest Gray Wolf Management Act. States are not “fully qualified to manage wolves responsibly”. Removing protections for wolves is not “long overdue.” Mismanagement of wolves in Representative Newhouses’ state is a prime example for maintaining protection for this species: *Washington state wildlife commission adopted rules violating the wolf plan regarding when wolves can be killed. *One entire pack of wolves, the Wedge Pack, was destroyed by the State of Washington in 2012 in response to allegations of depredation of livestock. This was in violation of Washington’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. The actions by the state did not prevent future depredations in the area. That decision-making process and aerial hunt was an absolute dreadful disgrace. *In 2013 an emergency rule went into effect allowing ranchers to kill wolves without a permit if they attack pets or livestock. This was also in violation of the wolf plan. *The state wildlife agency’s efforts to kill members of the Huckleberry pack for livestock losses was an abomination. The state failed to undertake sufficient nonlethal deterrence measures to prevent conflicts with livestock in this pack’s territory. *WDFW hired “sharpshooter” (hired to “remove” younger pack members) took out the breeding female of the Huckleberry Pack. Losing the alpha female harmed the survival of that wolf pack with pups just several months old. *Washington’s management plan sets a target of 15 known breeding pairs (with at least three located in each region of the state) as the point when the species can be considered recovered. Currently, the state has only five or six known breeding pairs. *At least three wolves were illegally killed by poachers in Washington in 2014. Therefore, one would say Washington state is far from “fully qualified to manage gray wolf populations responsibly”. Utah has no wolves beyond a few spotted over the years to remove protections from. The populations of wolves in Oregon is small and still in the early stages of recovery.

    Update January 30th: Oppose S 2012:

    (The anti wolf amendment was added to this bill January 28th)

    I oppose S.2012. This bill includes provisions that would undermine important environmental standards and long-standing and popular public protections. The bill fails to do enough to mitigate the threat of climate change and contains some provisions that weaken protections for our land, air, water and public health.  S. 2012 also contains an amendment which would delist wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming which I oppose. Once again, Politicians should not inject themselves into what should be science based decisions.

    Thankyou for your support, feel free to use the above comments for a message to your Congressional members.

    Copyright © 2015 except where noted [COPYRIGHT Intheshadowofthewolf, name and webpage]. All Rights Reserved.

    No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

    Dragging Alaska’s Predator Management Policies Into The 21st Century

    Voice Your Opposition to Alaska’s Shameful Predator Control Program.

    UPDATE: The comment period has been extended 30 days. Please comment by April 7, 2016. Thankyou.

    Generally the federal government allows the State of Alaska (and other states) to manage hunting and fishing on federal lands. But sometimes the State refuses to follow federal mandates even though Federal management authority always takes preference over state management directives. The USFWS is mandated to “protect natural diversity and abundance”.

    Under Title VIII (Subsistence Management And Use) of the Alaska National Interests Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), Alaska Natives and other rural residents were granted hunting and fishing rights (when fish and game are not under outside threat) on National Preserves. The ANILCA did not, however, allow Alaska to manage its wildlife as it has been ~ which is not unlike a game farm, where wolves and bears are decimated to allow unchecked trophy hunting and commercial guiding, and led to the implementation of tighter restrictions by the National Park Service. Alaska is unique among the 50 states for allowing sport and subsistence hunting in the 17 million acres of national preserves added to the National Park System by the ANILCA.  While Congress recognized the “important value of  subsistence and (sadly, and in my opinion disgracefully) sport hunting”, it allowed both to take place only where consistent with the mandate to protect and conserve wildlife resources.

    State sport hunting regulations passed by the Alaska Board of Game apply on public lands, but only when those regulations do not conflict with federal mandates or National Park policies. The Board, however, has noticeably become increasingly aggressive in its efforts to implement predator control on federal public lands through liberalization of sport hunting and trapping regulations. For example in 1994, the Alaska Legislature passed the Intensive Management Statute with which the explicit goal was to maintain, restore, or increase the abundance of big game  populations for human consumptive  use.
    The following 2 maps illustrate the enormous expansion of state designated predator control areas (PCA) from 2001 to 2014. The maps also show that the boundaries of most national preserves had been encroached upon and many  had become virtually surrounded by  Predator Control Areas in just 14 years. Note the vast increase of “wolf control” areas (in yellow).

    screenshot_2016-01-10-13-45-40_1.jpg

    screenshot_2016-01-10-13-45-23_1.jpg

    The Board has also practiced intensive  management by liberalizing sport hunting regulations, including:

    *increasing bag limits from five per season up to 20 per season or 10 per day (as high as 20 a day for wolves in some areas of the state), and liberalizing hunting  seasons for predators to increase their “harvest”.
    *eliminating the need for hunters to obtain or purchase hunting tags or permits for predators.
    *permitting  the incidental taking of predators.
    *authorizing same-day airborne hunting  and trapping, which allows hunters to take predators the same day they’ve  been flying.
    *allowing the use of bait to lure predators.
    *And, of course, the aerial gunning of wolves. Note that in 2011, the Board issued an emergency order to extend wolf hunting and trapping seasons in GMUs 9 and 10 to increase caribou numbers and as a way of getting around the U.S. Fish & Wildlife’s prohibition on aerial wolf control programs on Unimak  Island. Furthermore, the board has  repeatedly refused to reduce the impact of its programs on national preserves.  For example, in the spring  of 2014, the  radio-collared Lost Creek wolf pack left the borders of the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve and was eliminated  through aerial shooting by state agents implementing one of the Board’s intensive management plans. The Park Service had been studying the Lost Creek pack for seven years as part of a roughly 20-year study of wolves in the Yukon Charley National Preserve; The State  predator control efforts killed 36 wolves in the area in a single year, reducing the preserve’s population by over half. Another example is the Board’s 2010 elimination of the 122 square-mile buffer adjacent to Denali National Park that protected wolves crossing its boundaries from hunting and trapping~Two years later, the wolf populations in the Park were the lowest in decades.
    The USFWS should prevent application of state regulations which are incompatible with management objectives for the nearly 77 million acres of wildlife refuges across the state. Period.
    The National Park Service has also been at odds with the State which led to the implementation of tighter restrictions on sport hunting (the closure regulations became effective Nov. 23 2015, and new hunting regulations effective January 1 2016. More information regarding the NPS regulations can be found here.

    In contrast to the goal of the Game Board, which is to ensure maximum sustained populations for hunting a proposed new rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would limit predator control in national wildlife refuges and is deserving of your support.

    The draft rule, published in the Federal Register, aligns with a similar National Park Service rule that was finalized in October, banning abhorrent practices such as bear baiting, and the Game Boards’ liberal predator control “management” which could “disrupt natural processes and wildlife interactions” (In recent years, the Game Board has allowed harvesting of brown bears at black bear bait stations, taking wolves during denning season and has classified black bears as fur-bearers and big game species, “which could allow for trapping and snaring of bears and sale of their hides and skulls”).
    The Proposed Rule “clarifies how existing mandates for the conservation of natural and biological diversity, biological integrity, and environmental health on refuges in Alaska relate to predator control; prohibits several particularly effective methods and means for take of predators”. This would formally establish a goal of biodiversity as the guiding principle of federal management of wildlife refuges (The Fish and Wildlife Service says the rule makes clear it would have no impact on subsistence hunters).

    That, of course, stands in contrast to the goal of the Game Board, which is to alter or manipulate natural predator-prey dynamics to increase human harvest of ungulates.

    Heather Tonneson, a regional refuge ecologist for the Fish and Wildlife Service, who was one of the rule’s primary authors, said the rule would “clarify existing legal mandates”. Tonneson also noted that the agency is “not done yet. It’s a proposed rule” and the agency wants to hear from the public and is open to changes.
    I, myself, believe that their intent is to rein in Alaska, and make it clear to everyone that this sort of Intensive Management of predators is not going to be allowed.

    Please show your support for this proposed new rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would limit predator control in national wildlife refuges, it would help put an end to the suffering and death of many of our voiceless friends.
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking public comment until March 7th, though, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker plans to ask the federal government to double the public comment period for the rule.

    There will be nine public hearings. Comments can be submitted online through regulations.gov  using docket number FWS-R7-NWRS-2014-0005, or directly here.

    Or by mail to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [FWS-R7-NWRS-2014-0005]; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041.

    Below, please find a sample comment, please personalize.  Note: Agencies review all submissions, however some agencies may choose to redact, or withhold, certain submissions (or portions thereof) such as those containing private or proprietary information, inappropriate language, or duplicate/near duplicate examples of a mass-mail campaign.

    Sample comment:

    It is my understanding that this proposal to amend regulations for National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska was developed in response to public concern about predator control and recent liberalization of predator “harvest” within the State of Alaska. Thankyou, and I welcome a policy encouraging the maintenance of more biological diversity on refuges, and an end to the horrific “predator control” found to be acceptable and encouraged by the State.

    State regulations which have long authorized the hunting/trapping and other intensive management actions that involve predator reduction efforts with the intent or potential to alter or manipulate natural predator-prey dynamics and associated ecological processes (to increase human harvest of ungulates) is in conflict with the federal mandate, and abhorrent.

    I appreciate the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ proposed rule which would clarify that predator control is not allowed on national wildlife refuges in Alaska, “unless necessary to meet refuge purposes, federal laws or Service policy, and is consistent with the agency’s conservation mission”, and appreciate your efforts here.

    It is high time that Alaska stop treating our national preserves like game farms, and wholeheartedly support this proposal,

    Your name

    Thankyou, in advance, for your anticipated efforts on behalf of the wildlife on our National Preserves in Alaska.

    USFWS News Release | Related content 

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