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house Bill H. Joint Res. 69

Should a Rule Restricting Alaskans From Hunting Predators in Wildlife Refuges be Repealed?

Argument in favor

This rule violates the intent of the agreement reached between Alaska and the federal government in managing fish and wildlife populations. The regulation should be repealed so that the people of Alaska can manage their own land and wildlife resources in line with previous agreements with the federal government.

Fred's Opinion
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02/17/2017
There is nothing that is right about killing animals in this manner.
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02/16/2017
Yes! People should have the freedom to manage the wildlife where they live. This shouldn't be about government regulation and restrictions on an individual's freedom to protect his or her property that they pay taxes on. The Alaskan citizens and their local officials should have authority over the animals that live there. The residents should have dominion and responsibility to maintain their own backyard as they see fit.
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operaman's Opinion
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02/16/2017
I strongly support Black Bears hunting in Alaska. They have been hunting fish for millennia. Why should this change? My opinion, this is a state issue. I sure hope Grizzly and Wolves have picture I.D. However, I'm sure the Deer and Elk will not support the Wolves.
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Argument opposed

The federal government has an interest in promoting “natural diversity” in Alaska’s national wildlife refuges and is justified in imposing regulations on the state of Alaska to meet that end. Federal law has precedence over state law, and that applies to wildlife conservation as well. Subsistence hunting should only occur if it complies with conservation needs.

Annie's Opinion
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02/13/2017
As a constituent and a Defender of Wildlife, I am writing to urge you to oppose H. J. Res. 69, which would void the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule and threaten our country's wildlife heritage on public lands that belong to all of us. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule to help protect bears, wolves and other iconic carnivores on federal public lands to conserve wildlife resources and natural ecosystems that benefit all Americans. The rule prohibits application of Alaska's scientifically indefensible "predator control" policy on national wildlife refuges in the state, which aims to artificially inflate game populations by driving down native carnivore populations across the landscape. Alaska's predator control program targets these animals through extreme methods, including killing mother bears and cubs, killing wolves and pups in their dens, and trapping, baiting and using airplanes to scout and shoot bears. This egregious program clearly violates the wildlife diversity conservation mandate of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Alaska delegation aims to strike down this vital rule with H. J. Res. 69, in an attempt to impose increased state control over management of the nation's wildlife refuges to serve narrow state interests. H. J. Res. 69 would prevent FWS from effectively managing more than 76 million acres to ensure that all wildlife-- including native carnivores like wolves and bears--thrive in their natural diversity. H. J. Res. 69 would subvert environmental laws that guide management of public lands across the country, undermine the broad public interest in conserving all species on Alaska's national wildlife refuges, and could decimate healthy populations of wolves and bears on these wild landscapes for generations to come. Please stand up for America's wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge System and vote NO on H. J. Res. 69.
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Jamie's Opinion
···
02/13/2017
Ecological research shows us that "predator control" is not an effective way to manage wildlife. Rather, it disrupts the ecosystem and results in unnaturally high herbivore populations that can damage trees, wild plants, and agriculture. Stop justifying it as if it's good for the ecosystem. It's just a contrived loophole for people to hunt without restriction, and clearly, without understanding the long-term consequences of their actions.
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Leo's Opinion
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02/15/2017
What's the point of having a wildlife refuge if it doesn't protect animals from being hunted?
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joint resolution Progress


  • EnactedApril 3rd, 2017
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed March 21st, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 52 Yea / 47 Nay
  • The house Passed February 16th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 225 Yea / 193 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Natural Resources
    IntroducedFebruary 7th, 2017

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What is House Bill H. Joint Res. 69?

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.

Impact

Hunters and Alaskans, particularly those who rely on subsistence hunting; the state of Alaska; FWS; and the DOI.

Cost of House Bill H. Joint Res. 69

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Don Young (R-AK) introduced this bill to overturn the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s regulation that restricts “predator control” on national wildlife refuges in his home state of Alaska:

“There’s no question, the Fish and Wildlife Service rule — which lays claim to more than 20 percent of our state — violates ANILCA and the Alaska Statehood Compact. 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. I continue to fight to protect Alaska’s sovereignty and management authority and will use every tool at my discretion to strike this rule.”

This legislation has the support of two cosponsors in the House, both of whom are Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Alan Vernon / Creative Commons)

Official Title

Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule of the Department of the Interior relating to "Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska".

    There is nothing that is right about killing animals in this manner.
    Like (55)
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    As a constituent and a Defender of Wildlife, I am writing to urge you to oppose H. J. Res. 69, which would void the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule and threaten our country's wildlife heritage on public lands that belong to all of us. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule to help protect bears, wolves and other iconic carnivores on federal public lands to conserve wildlife resources and natural ecosystems that benefit all Americans. The rule prohibits application of Alaska's scientifically indefensible "predator control" policy on national wildlife refuges in the state, which aims to artificially inflate game populations by driving down native carnivore populations across the landscape. Alaska's predator control program targets these animals through extreme methods, including killing mother bears and cubs, killing wolves and pups in their dens, and trapping, baiting and using airplanes to scout and shoot bears. This egregious program clearly violates the wildlife diversity conservation mandate of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Alaska delegation aims to strike down this vital rule with H. J. Res. 69, in an attempt to impose increased state control over management of the nation's wildlife refuges to serve narrow state interests. H. J. Res. 69 would prevent FWS from effectively managing more than 76 million acres to ensure that all wildlife-- including native carnivores like wolves and bears--thrive in their natural diversity. H. J. Res. 69 would subvert environmental laws that guide management of public lands across the country, undermine the broad public interest in conserving all species on Alaska's national wildlife refuges, and could decimate healthy populations of wolves and bears on these wild landscapes for generations to come. Please stand up for America's wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge System and vote NO on H. J. Res. 69.
    Like (1192)
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    Ecological research shows us that "predator control" is not an effective way to manage wildlife. Rather, it disrupts the ecosystem and results in unnaturally high herbivore populations that can damage trees, wild plants, and agriculture. Stop justifying it as if it's good for the ecosystem. It's just a contrived loophole for people to hunt without restriction, and clearly, without understanding the long-term consequences of their actions.
    Like (608)
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    What's the point of having a wildlife refuge if it doesn't protect animals from being hunted?
    Like (561)
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    As an Alaskan, I urge you to vote no on this repeal. Refuge should mean just that. As a hunter in Alaska, there are plenty of other places to hunt
    Like (261)
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    As a constituent and a Defender of Wildlife, I am writing to urge you to oppose H. J. Res. 69, which would void the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule and threaten our country's wildlife heritage on public lands that belong to all of us. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule to help protect bears, wolves and other iconic carnivores on federal public lands to conserve wildlife resources and natural ecosystems that benefit all Americans. The rule prohibits application of Alaska's scientifically indefensible "predator control" policy on national wildlife refuges in the state, which aims to artificially inflate game populations by driving down native carnivore populations across the landscape. Alaska's predator control program targets these animals through extreme methods, including killing mother bears and cubs, killing wolves and pups in their dens, and trapping, baiting and using airplanes to scout and shoot bears. This egregious program clearly violates the wildlife diversity conservation mandate of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Alaska delegation aims to strike down this vital rule with H. J. Res. 69, in an attempt to impose increased state control over management of the nation's wildlife refuges to serve narrow state interests. H. J. Res. 69 would prevent FWS from effectively managing more than 76 million acres to ensure that all wildlife-- including native carnivores like wolves and bears--thrive in their natural diversity. H. J. Res. 69 would subvert environmental laws that guide management of public lands across the country, undermine the broad public interest in conserving all species on Alaska's national wildlife refuges, and could decimate healthy populations of wolves and bears on these wild landscapes for generations to come. Please stand up for America's wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge System and vote NO on H. J. Res. 69. 66207
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    Hunting of any kind should not be permitted in wildlife refuges, it defeats the purpose of these safe havens that were created to protect and preserve our animal populations.
    Like (134)
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    I'm from Alaska and wild life refuges were put in place for a reason. Do things have to become endangered for us to care?
    Like (104)
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    And the Republican battle against wom... I mean educ... I mean clim... I mean nature continues.....
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    I am opposed to the repeal of the rule prohibiting the state of Alaska from regulating hunting of carnivores on National Wildlife Refuges in that state. While I do believe that states should participate in wildlife management on federal lands in their states, this action was taken to control recreational hunting on particular federal lands meant for the protection of these wildlife populations. These lands belong to all Americans, and the wildlife on those lands are under all of our protection. We should not allow the state full control over their management.
    Like (80)
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    Protect our wildlife on refuges. Stop the narrow interests from robbing all of us of our natural and wild spaces and habitats.
    Like (69)
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    The Planet is losing an animal species forever every 18 minutes. Not just one animal but the entire species is lost every 18 min. Please let's stop the killing before it's too late.
    Like (48)
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    Yes! People should have the freedom to manage the wildlife where they live. This shouldn't be about government regulation and restrictions on an individual's freedom to protect his or her property that they pay taxes on. The Alaskan citizens and their local officials should have authority over the animals that live there. The residents should have dominion and responsibility to maintain their own backyard as they see fit.
    Like (35)
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    The repeal of this rule prohibiting the state of Alaska from regulating hunting of carnivores on National Wildlife Refuges is a detriment to the natural beauty of Alaska that is the mainstay of tourism for the state. Furthermore, don't repeal the control of recreational hunting on federal lands meant for the protection of wildlife and natural ecological systems. To do so could spawn a new industry based on the destruction of the ecosystem for profit and permanent disruption of the natural balance causing unfavorable ecological change.
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    Leave the animals alone! What is it with REPUBLICANS and their need to shoot something. I guess the 'R' in NRA stands for REPUBLICAN.
    Like (31)
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    It's no surprise that these types of bills are being pushed through since the foxes have broken into the hen house.
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    What part of refuge don't you understand?
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    Overturning these rules has no scientific merit when it comes to predator/prey relationships. We do not allow unethical hunting practices in Michigan, why should unsportsman-like hunting practices be allowed in federal wildlife refuges. Coming from a hunting family, I support common sense game management, including hunting and apex predators.
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    We must respect nature and the lives of these sentient animals. It is not our right for momentary sport to end their lives. It's wrong and unethical. The nature preserves belong to the Animals. Einstein said that the mark of judgement about a society can be determined by how they treat their animals.
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    As my friend Annie has written, "As a constituent I am writing to urge you to oppose H. J. Res. 69, which would void the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule and threaten our country's wildlife heritage on public lands that belong to all of us. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule to help protect bears, wolves and other iconic carnivores on federal public lands to conserve wildlife resources and natural ecosystems that benefit all Americans. The rule prohibits application of Alaska's scientifically indefensible "predator control" policy on national wildlife refuges in the state, which aims to artificially inflate game populations by driving down native carnivore populations across the landscape. Alaska's predator control program targets these animals through extreme methods, including killing mother bears and cubs, killing wolves and pups in their dens, and trapping, baiting and using airplanes to scout and shoot bears. This egregious program clearly violates the wildlife diversity conservation mandate of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Alaska delegation aims to strike down this vital rule with H. J. Res. 69, in an attempt to impose increased state control over management of the nation's wildlife refuges to serve narrow state interests. H. J. Res. 69 would prevent FWS from effectively managing more than 76 million acres to ensure that all wildlife-- including native carnivores like wolves and bears--thrive in their natural diversity. H. J. Res. 69 would subvert environmental laws that guide management of public lands across the country, undermine the broad public interest in conserving all species on Alaska's national wildlife refuges, and could decimate healthy populations of wolves and bears on these wild landscapes for generations to come. Please stand up for America's wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge System and vote NO on H. J. Res. 69." Thank you.
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