Senate Votes To Repeal Federal Lands Predator Hunting Bill


Photo by Lisa Hupp/USFWS

The contentious nature of Alaska’s outdoor managmement officials and the federal government regarding predator hunting on federal land is about to be argued about again. 

Here’s the Alaska Dispatch-News with more:

The Congressional Review Act bill to overturn the Obama administration regulation, having passed the House, and now the Senate by a vote of 52-47, now heads to President Donald Trump. The House passed the bill, introduced by Alaska Rep. Don Young, last month. Trump is expected to sign it into law.

The contested rule has evoked vivid imagery by its opponents in Congress: slaughtered wolf puppies, shooting wolves from planes, undercutting the natural order in Alaska’s 76 million acres of wildlife refuges.

Alaska’s lawmakers say that those arguments are simply untrue, and they miss the point.

Repealing the rule through a congressional resolution is important to the “principle of federalism,” said Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan just before the vote Tuesday, chiding “senators from states that don’t know anything about my state.”

“This rule is about subsistence,” Sullivan said.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said some of the rule’s hunting provisions related to bears would impact subsistence hunting for people in remote areas of Alaska.

But the resolution’s opponents say the lawmakers have it all wrong — that Alaska’s game managers want to illegally control predators to boost the population of moose and caribou for hunters. Favoring one species over another is not allowed, argued Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, during an impassioned speech opposing the rule. 

Here’s a little more insight from the ADN: 

At the heart of the disagreement between state and federal wildlife managers is what each group thinks should guide its purpose. The federal government has argued that the goal on refuges and in parks should be biodiversity. The state Board of Game has an interest in ensuring maximum sustained populations for hunting.

The state Game Board and the federal agencies have clashed over managing predators, which could drive down available game for subsistence hunters, as well as authority over managing the lands.

Both the state and federal agencies argue that it’s the principle of the matter, and that right now the regulation wouldn’t change a great deal in the management of federal wildlife refuges.

As is usually the case, social media brought out a lot of emotional responses: