A Trump administration proposal to roll back Obama-era restrictions on hunting in Alaskan wildlife preserves generated more than 100,000 comments from interested parties.
The time to comment on the rule is drawing to a close and ends Sept. 6. The proposal would overturn federal hunting standards put in place in 2015 and return the authority to regulate certain hunting practices back to the states. (RELATED: Trump Is Lifting Obama-Era Regs Off Alaska Hunters)
The large response to the proposal, introduced by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on May 21, comes after the environmental group National Parks Conservation Association launched a campaign to rally conservationists and protect the federal standards. The NPCA encouraged its 1.3 million members to comment on the proposal and urge the Department of the Interior to scrap it.
“As one of 1.3 million members and supporters of the National Parks Conservation Association, I strongly oppose the National Park Service’s attempt to roll back 2015 clarifications of existing park authority to protect bears and wolves on Alaska national preserves,” one comment said, according to The Washington Examiner. “Extreme sport hunting methods, like brown bear baiting and killing hibernating black bear mothers and cubs in dens, don’t belong on national preserves in Alaska.”
Alaskan hunters are frustrated with the standards put in place in 2015. Many feel that the standards are too invasive and are trampling on the culture and traditions of Alaskans.
“These rules especially hurt rural Alaskans where hunting and fishing for food is not a historical footnote; it is a day to day reality,” Alaska Professional Hunters Association President Sam Rohrer said in a statement after suing the Interior Department over the federal standards in February.
“Alaska is world renowned for its management of fish and game. Biologists from around the world admire and respect our managers; even to the point of traveling to my home Island of Kodiak to learn about bear management principles,” Rohrer added. “These rules are a misguided attempt to impose urban values on the most rural state in America.”
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