House Voids Carnivore Protections on Alaska National Wildlife Refuges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 16, 2017

Contact: Leigh Anne Tiffany; (202) 772-0259; ltiffany@defenders.org

 

WASHINGTON (Feb. 16, 2017) –Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Congressional Review Act resolution (H. J. Res. 69) to rescind the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule. The rule – in effect since September – prohibits application of Alaska’s intensive predator control policy on national wildlife refuges in the state. The House vote sends the resolution to the Senate, where it may be calendared for consideration in coming weeks.

Alaska’s scientifically indefensible predator control program aims to artificially increase game populations by driving down carnivore numbers through extreme practices, including killing mother bears and cubs, killing denning wolves and pups, and trapping, baiting, and using airplanes to scout and hunt bears. The Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule is a reasonable, science-based regulation that helps protect these iconic species on refuge lands and supports balanced, natural ecosystems that benefit all Americans.

Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:

“Voters deserve better from this Congress. Is running roughshod over public lands and targeting mother bears and wolves and their young on lands specifically set aside as wildlife refuges really a priority for legislators given the many challenges facing our country? Americans expect our national wildlife refuges to be managed for their conservation values for all wildlife, not just those species of particular interest to a few.”

 Background

The state of Alaska adopted an intensive “predator control” policy in 1994 designed to dramatically suppress wolves, bears and other native carnivores in order to artificially inflate game populations. FWS issued the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule to prevent targeted killing of these species on federal refuges in Alaska. The rule helps protect native carnivores on these public lands and ensures that our national wildlife refuges are managed in accordance with bedrock federal laws to conserve species and habitats in their natural diversity.

 

You can read more about the Congressional Review Act here.

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Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.