The Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule is under siege, and the consequences could be dire for bears and wolves in the state.
You may have heard about H.J. Res. 69, a dangerous bill that jeopardizes bears, wolves and other carnivores by tossing out the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule. This legislation is set to hit the Senate floor any day now, and its enactment could have drastic implications for wildlife in Alaska and public lands management nationwide.
The Low-Down on H.J. Res 69
H.J. Res. 69 would overturn the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule, which the Obama administration issued last year to conserve native carnivores, including bears, wolves and their young, on as many as 76 million acres of national wildlife refuges in Alaska. The timing of when this rule was finalized matters significantly, as its fate is now subject to the Congressional Review Act (CRA)—you can read more about that here.
Legislators and their special interest allies already jammed H.J. Res. 69 through the House of Representatives, despite strong bipartisan opposition that labeled it as “The Killing Baby Animals in Alaska Act.” The Senate is currently considering whether to bring this harmful bill up for a vote.
Threatening Wildlife in Their Home
Without the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule in place, the state of Alaska could pursue its scientifically indefensible predator control program on these federal lands. This controversial program allows the killing of mother bears and their cubs, killing wolves and their pups in their dens, and trapping, baiting and using airplanes to scout and shoot bears. The state’s goal is to drive down carnivore numbers to artificially inflate populations of game species.
H.J. Res. 69 would also undermine traditional wildlife management principles and federal oversight of federal public lands which could have implications beyond Alaska.
Congress’ War on Wildlife and Public Lands
H.J. Res. 69 is just one of a slew of recent attacks by Congressional lawmakers against the very nature of our how our public lands—and the wildlife they support—are managed. Simply put, some legislators want to give away federal control of federal lands and resources to the states. Throwing out the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule would undermine management of wildlife refuges in Alaska and encourage further efforts by Congress and special interest groups to sell off and sell out our public lands and resources across the country.
These continued attacks on our federal public lands threaten the sound conservation and ecological health of these wild places, and instead subjects them, and the iconic and imperiled species they support, to the whims of special interests and the limitations of individual states to address their complex oversight.
We Must Act NOW
Our nation’s public lands are the envy of the world, and every American has an ownership stake and right to enjoy them. They are our lands; they provide vital habitat for wildlife, conserve watersheds, offer innumerable recreational opportunities, and generate billions of dollars in annual sustainable economic activity. H.J. Res 69 is offensive to these public values.
A vote in the Senate is imminent—don’t wait, act now!
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