The Trump administration is considering loosening federal protections on predators like bears and wolves living on federal lands in Alaska, according to Alaska Dispatch News.
The Department of the Interior (DOI) decided to review rules against aggressive predator control after, “widespread criticism and concern from Alaskans about the previous administration micromanaging Alaska wildlife,” DOI press secretary Heather Swift wrote in an email to the Alaska Dispatch News.
When the regulations were adopted in 2015 and 2016, Americans from across the United States voiced support for the rules during the public comment period that each regulation had to go through. Criticism still came, however, mainly from Alaska’s own politicians and hunters, according to the Alaska Dispatch News.
The Sportsman’s Alliance, along with the Alaska Professional Hunters Association and two Alaskans, sued the federal government in February to overturn the Obama-era hunting regulations.
“Game management belongs in the hands of boots-on-the-ground state biologists who understand the traditions, goals, game animals and ecosystems better than anyone, certainly better than a federal bureaucrat simply reading a report in a Washington, D.C. office,” Sportsmen’s Alliance and Foundation president and CEO Evan Heusinkveld said at the time in a press release.
“This is nothing but blatant federal overreach that will destroy Alaska’s predator-prey balance, impact and set precedent for sportsmen and public-land users nationwide and, moreover, decimate residents both economically and in their ability to provide for their families from a subsistence perspective,” Heusinkveld added.
The National Parks Conservation Association president Theresa Pierno said that the review disregarded the views of “more than 70,000 Americans who said no to baiting bears with grease-soaked doughnuts in Denali,” according to The Washington Post.
“The National Park Service must have the authority to prevent potentially indiscriminate killing of bears and their cubs on national park lands,” Pierno said.
The Alaska Professional Hunters Association did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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