Tag Archives: Wildlife Refuges

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.

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    The Case Against H.J.Resolution 69 and S.J.Resolution 18

    House lawmakers, on Thursday, February 16th, passed a measure to repeal a recently implemented rule that banned abhorrent practices such as shooting/ trapping wolves while at dens with pups, killing hibernating bears and spotting Grizzlies from aircraft for kill upon landing. The rule aligns with a similar National Park Service rule, which was finalized in October, 2015, banning abhorrent practices such as “bear baiting” and the Game Boards liberal predator control “management”.

    The legislation, authored by Representative Don Young, would undo the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule, opening the door for the state to resume aggressive predator control tactics including shooting wolves from airplanes, spotting bears from aircraft for kill upon landing, and killing cubs and pups in their dens on more than 76 million acres of national wildlife refuge land in Alaska. A recently introduced companion measure (S.J.Resolution 18), sponsored by Senator Dan Sullivan, also seeks to erode federal management authority over Alaska Wildlife Refuges and should be set aside. 

    Under the rule, issued August 3rd, 2016, by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, predator control is not allowed on Alaska’s 16 national wildlife refuges “unless it is determined to be necessary to meet refuge purposes, is consistent with federal laws and policy and is based on sound science in response to a conservation concern.” The law also bans specific hunting methods on Alaska refuges, including killing bear cubs or adult females with cubs, baiting brown bears, taking bears using snares and traps, and aerial shooting of bears and wolves.

    • The 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”. The rule formally established a goal of biodiversity as the guiding principle of federal management of wildlife refuges. The rule also made it clear there would be no impact on subsistence hunters. 

    In a blog post published the day of the final ruling in August, former FWS Director Dan Ashe said that in implementing Alaska’s Intensive Management Law, the Alaska Board of Game had “unleashed a withering attack  on bears and wolves that is wholly at odds with America’s long tradition of ethical, sportsmanlike, fair-chase hunting.”

     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) 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. 

    (In Alaska, the wildlife law known as the Intensive Management statute is in conflict with federal laws governing national park lands and the management of wildlife on those lands. Preemption, the constitutional doctrine which holds that when federal law and state law conflict, federal law must be followed, and state law must yield, requires the State of Alaska to refrain from implementing the Intensive Management statute on national park lands because of the conflict with federal laws.)

    The Board, however, noticeably became 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).


    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 acted admirably to prevent application of state regulations which are incompatible with management objectives for the nearly 77 million acres of wildlife refuges across the state.

    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.

    When H.J. Resolution 69 is brought to the floor for a vote, I ask that you please stand by our wildlife and Public Lands, vote against this disgraceful and appalling attempt to reinstate animal cruelty on our wildlife refuges. The companion measure introduced in the Senate is equally shameful in its attempt to undo The Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule and should be voted down; the states do not have a right to dictate what happens on our National Wildlife Refuges. 

    Related content:

     Fish and Wildlife Service Wise to Oppose Alaska’s War on Wolves   A must read op-ed by Vic Van Ballenberghe who is a wildlife biologist and a former member of the Alaska Board of Game.  

    Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule questions and answers.

    Representative Don Young’s biography and colorful array of Congressional statements

     Stop Alaska’s War on Wolves from NPCA

    Copyright © 2016 [COPYRIGHT Intheshadowofthewolf, name and webpage]. All Rights Reserved.