On May 20th, the National Park Service removed hunting and trapping prohibitions on Alaska national preserves.
I am deeply concerned about this change. The new guidelines remove protections implemented in 2015 and will allow hunting and trapping practices that are being opposed by conservationists and many hunters. The rule change allows for:
- Using artificial light (such as spotlights) to hunt and trap black bears in their dens, including cubs and sows with cubs.
- Using bait to hunt and trap brown and black bears.
- Hunting and trapping wolves and coyotes (including pups) during the denning season.
- Hunting swimming caribou and using motorboats to do so.
- Using dogs to hunt black bears.
Personally, I don’t understand hunting for sport, and I am appalled at the idea of hunting bear cubs and wolf pups. Proponents of this rule change say it supports state hunting guidelines and gives tribal members the right to hunt traditionally. These statements may be true, but I believe the coming years will show many sport hunters taking advantage of this ruling.
Unfortunately, the new rules have already been implemented. Here at SPCA International, we’ll be keeping an eye on the situation and letting you know if there is any way to get involved in the future. In the meantime, you can find the ruling in the federal register here. https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NPS-2018-0005