On October 23, 2015, the National Park Service (NPS) published a final rule (Final Rule) to amend its regulations for sport hunting and trapping in national preserves in Alaska (80 FR 64325). The Final Rule codified prohibitions on certain types of harvest practices that are otherwise permitted by the State of Alaska’s hunting regulations found at 5 AAC Part 85.
The 2015 Final Rule banned the following practices on National Preserves in Alaska:
Taking any black bear, including cubs and sows with cubs, with artificial light at den sites;
Harvesting brown bears over bait;
Taking wolves and coyotes (including pups) during the denning season (between May 1 and August 9);
Taking swimming caribou;
Taking caribou from motorboats under power;
Taking black bears over bait;
Using dogs to hunt black bears.
The 2015 Final Rule prohibited these hunting practices because the NPS found those practices:
(1) To have intent or potential to alter or manipulate natural predator-prey dynamics, and associated natural ecological processes for the purpose of increasing harvest of ungulates by man;
(2) to adversely impact public safety; or
(3) to be inconsistent with federal law authorizing sport hunting in national preserves in Alaska.
In addition, NPS has broad discretion in managing wildlife on national preserves under applicable laws, policies, and regulations.
On September 15, 2017, Secretary Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3356 to overturn the 2015 rule and permit the killing practices listed above. If the rule change is passed, Alaska’s wildlife will suffer. We need your help.
What can you do?
The Department of Interior has extended the public comment period until November 5th for both the proposed rule change and the environmental assessment regarding sport hunting and trapping on National Preserves in Alaska. You can submit the same comment through both portals, doubling your impact.
Please note: There is no direct email address to submit comments. Comments are accepted only via the above link, or by hand or mail addressed to:
National Park Service
240 West 5th Ave.
Anchorage, AK 99501
For the proposed rule change: ATTN: Regional Director, Alaska Regional Office, RIN 1024-AE38
For the Environmental Assessment: ATTN: Sport Hunting and Trapping in National Preserves EA- Alaska Regional Office, EPC