As 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.