This resolution would repeal a Dept. of the Interior (DOI) regulation that prohibits the hunting of predators such as bears and wolves on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. The rule was finalized in the final months of the Obama administration, and permits “predator control” hunts only under certain circumstances after several environmental reviews have taken place and limits the ways that wildlife can be killed.
Specifically, the rule looks to promote “natural diversity” by by avoiding emphasis of management activities that favor some species to the detriment of others in order to avoid artificially maintained habitat diversity. Predator control would be prohibited on Alaskan refuges unless deemed necessary for conservation (not to provide more wildlife for human harvest). If predator control becomes necessary, the regulation imposes the following prohibitions on taking:
Black or brown bear cubs or sows with cubs (unless resident hunters take them in compliance with state law);
Brown bears over bait;
Bears using traps or snares;
Wolves and coyotes during denning season between May 1 and August 9;
Bears from an aircraft or on the same day as air travel has occurred (the taking of wolves or wolverines under the same circumstances is already prohibited).
The DOI regulation also places limits on subsistence hunting — meaning hunting done to provide food and economic security — such that it has to be carried out in a manner consistent with the needs of conservation and U.S. compliance with international wildlife treaties. It also states that under the federal Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), the federal Fish and Wildlife Service has primacy over the state in managing fish and wildlife, and uses ANILCA as justification
Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress is able to overturn regulations finalized within the last 60 legislative days with simple majority votes on a joint resolution of disapproval in both chambers and the president’s signature. CRA resolutions also prevent the federal agency that created the regulation from issuing a similar rule without being directed to do so by Congress.