March 7th, 2017
It’s Take Action Tuesday! Today we need your help to continue fighting to protect predator species on Alaskan national wildlife refuges by urging your Senators to vote NO on House Joint Resolution (H.J. Res) 69.
Two weeks ago, we asked you to urge your Representative to vote NO on this same proposal. Unfortunately, the House passed H.J. Res. 69 on February 16, which will permanently overturn the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Rule prohibiting aggressive predator control practices on Alaskan national wildlife refuges. Simply put, predator control seeks to artificially increase the population of prey species by reducing the population of predator species.
Predator control practices currently prohibited by the rule include:
- Killing brown bears over bait or by aerial gunning
- Killing wolves and pups in their dens
- Killing mother bears and cubs
To allow these practices to occur on Alaska refuges would be to violate the Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, which clearly state that refuges must be managed for the biodiversity of all wildlife – not just game species. Alarmingly, if this is allowed to occur in Alaska, the refuges in your state could be next.
The Refuge Association has always recognized and supported hunting on national wildlife refuges where it has been deemed a compatible use. After all, hunting is one of the Big Six recreational opportunities supported by the Refuge System. But these extreme predator control measures conflict with the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System to manage for natural biodiversity. Overturning this rule will prevent the FWS from successfully carrying out their conservation mission on Alaskan national wildlife refuges.
This rule does not affect subsistence hunting and simply codifies how national wildlife refuges have been managed in Alaska for years.
Congress is attempting to use an obscure, yet powerful law known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to permanently void the rule. The CRA allows Congress to repeal agency rules finalized within the last 60 legislative days of the previous Congress with a simple majority vote – and the effect is permanent!