In August 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published final regulations governing the killing of bears, wolves, coyotes and wolverines on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska – including nearly 20 million acres of Wilderness on the Refuges.
These regulations preempt several State of Alaska hunting and trapping regulations meant to reduce populations of bears, wolves, coyotes and wolverines with the intent to increase moose and caribou numbers. These state regulations conflict with FWS’s responsibility to protect the natural diversity of wildlife of national wildlife refuges in Alaska.
Many thanks to the thousands of you who earlier wrote in support of protecting wildlife in our National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. It really made a difference!
The new federal rules will prohibit the following practices on refuges in Alaska:
While these prohibitions will certainly help protect wildlife on Refuges in Alaska, the final regulations have several shortcomings including:
Now the battle is shifting to Congress, where Alaska’s senators and congressman are pushing legislation that will overturn the Fish and Wildlife Service’s new rule and a similar rule adopted by the National Park Service for national parks and preserves in Alaska.
Wilderness Watch will continue to advocate for stronger regulations to both protect bears, wolves, coyotes and wolverines and to ensure that natural processes are allowed to shape our National Wildlife Refuges and designated Wildernesses of Alaska. But first we must continue our work to fend off legislative attempts to undo the progress that has been made. Please join us in this fight!
Thank you for taking action to protect wolves, bears, coyotes and wolverines living in National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska!
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