December 4, 2014

Sportsmen-Conservation Groups Comment on Problematic Proposed Rule in Alaska

On December 3, 27 sportsmen’s and other conservation organizations from throughout the nation submitted a letter to the National Park Service (NPS), commenting on the issues regarding the Proposed Rule to Hunting and Trapping on National Preserves in Alaska.

This Rule would shift wildlife management decisions of federal lands to the NPS, taking the authority away from Alaska’s state wildlife managers, who currently make decisions on how to manage wildlife. By prohibiting the state wildlife managers to make decisions on these lands, the NPS jeopardizes the state’s previously successful wildlife and land management system and the state’s ability to achieve wildlife management goals.

Because wildlife extends beyond federal land boundaries within the state, federal land management cannot be isolated in certain areas. State wildlife managers made decisions about how to manage the Alaska’s lands as a whole with regard to wildlife populations and their unbounded movements throughout the state. In addition, the limitations and restrictions authorized by the proposed rules will undermine hunting as a means of wildlife management, a tradition enjoyed by many.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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