On January 14, 2019, we joined several other conservation groups by signing a letter to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requesting that the public comment period deadline for the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) pertaining to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program be extended beyond the 45 days originally advertised (currently due by February 11, 2019), and that additional public hearings be held across the nation so that members of the public outside of Alaska who value this national treasure are also given an opportunity to have their voice heard.
“The Trump administration’s decision to roll back these sensible animal protections is outrageous. Without this ban, the hunting of bear cubs and wolf pups in their dens and the shooting of bears from airplanes will return. Without wildlife, our national preserves are just scenery. These practices have no place on our public lands and in our society.”
In one of its last actions of the regular legislative session, the Alaska House voted 22-18 on Wednesday to pass a bill that protects wolves from trappers in two areas adjoining the park — a move aimed at giving visitors more chances to see the animals, though it’s opposed by the state Board of Game.
“Managing wildlife in the United States involves a complex mix of distinct, shared and overlapping jurisdictions between states, tribes and the federal government. Mainly, and at its best, it is a cooperative and professional endeavor. We have a long history of cooperative management with the states, including Alaska, and we have deep respect and admiration for our state agency professional colleagues.
But there comes a time when the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service must stand up for the authorities and principles that underpin our work and say “no.” That’s why this week, we are joining our sister-agency, the National Park Service, and finalizing regulations governing predator management on Alaska refuges.”
The Alaska Wildlife Alliance has filed a complaint in Anchorage Superior Court alleging that the Board of Game failed to comply with Alaska’s Open Meetings law when the Board rejected two separate petitions requesting that it re-establish a no-trapping wolf buffer zone adjacent to Denali National Park.