Trump Signs Bill Allowing Hunting on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska

By Faye Higbee

On April 3, President Trump signed a bill into law that will likely have environmentalists throwing a temper tantrum or filing lawsuits. Congress passed House Joint Resolution 69, which nullified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s rule banning hunting on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. Why? Because the rule interfered with the state’s ability to manage wildlife.

The Senate passed the resolution 52-47 and the House passed it 225-193 back in March. Narrow margins that speak of partisanship.  All Democrats appear to see are the big bad hunters with their big bad guns killing all the beautiful animals. But conservation is more than that…and regulation of predators and prey alike is essential.

Safari Club reported,

Separately, SCI has filed a lawsuit to challenge similar regulations adopted by the National Park Service for National Preserves in Alaska and another FWS rule that denies access for hunting on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

SCI celebrates the passage of H.J. Res. 69, together with the Alaska Chapter of SCI, the Alaska Kenai Peninsula Chapter of SCI, Alaska’s legislative leaders, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Alaska Board of Game, and the numerous sportsmen’s organizations who aggressively pursued this Congressional nullification of the FWS rule. 

Conservation should be run by states

The Obama administration put the rule into effect in 2016 to supposedly preserve predator species such as bear and wolves from hunters on National Wildlife Refuges – of which there are 16 in Alaska. But who should regulate the practices of hunters? The State of Alaska believes it should be them, and say that the rule was an example of Federal overreach.

“Not only does this action undermine Alaska’s ability to manage fish and wildlife upon refuge lands, it fundamentally destroys a cooperative relationship between Alaska and the federal government.” Alaska Rep Don Young

Alaska is 61.3% federal land. There has been a tension between the State and the Federal government over who knows best how to administer conservation for years.