Cruel Hunting Methods in Alaska Supported by our Federal Government
On October 23, 2015, The National Park Service finalized a rule amending its regulations for sport hunting and trapping in the National Preserves in Alaska. Similarly, on August 3rd, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service carefully crafted a rule to end barbaric hunting methods on Alaska’s wildlife refuges. It was a momentous decision to help preserve the wildlife on our last frontier. The ruling would prohibit cruel killing methods such as luring grizzlies with meat and getting a point-blank kill, killing wolf, black bear, and coyote mothers and their defenseless pups in their dens, and using steel jawed leghold traps to trap grizzlies and black bears.
Recently, a resolution to repeal this rule passed in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. This repeal was initiated by Senator Dan Sullivan. The resolution will allow hunters to use such draconian hunting methods on Alaska’s Wildlife Refuges. These cruel hunting methods are disallowed on federal lands just about everywhere else in the United States but unfortunately and deplorably, these practices will continue to be pursued in Alaska.
A statewide poll showed that Alaskan voters strongly support the elimination of these cruel hunting practices to kill bears, wolves, and coyotes. Not only are locals against these hunting practices, the Alaskan wildlife generated $1.2 billion dollars in tourism revenue in 2015. This revenue supported 17.6 thousand jobs and added $1.7 billion in economic output for the Alaskan economy. Wildlife watchers outnumber hunters by nearly five to one in Alaska and spend five times more than hunters. If this is all true, how did our government support such a ruling?
How can constituents who have shown their support against something so inhumane and unconscionable have faith in a government where only a few elected officials can override the voice of the people? The voices of many may have been heard but ignored. The result of allowing such barbaric hunting methods to ensue, will only deplete what is left of our wildlife, alter the ecosystem that is already in jeopardy, and cause harm to the economic growth of the state of Alaska.
Alaska is truly our last frontier. It is a magical place where time has seemed to stand still. A place where the wild are roaming free as they have for many generations. Wildlife refuges in Alaska were meant to preserve the wildlife as much as possible to give our future generations a place to go and see the beauty of the wildlife. To see the wildlife for one’s own eyes is something unexplainable and simply amazing. It is my hope we can alter the fate of the Alaskan wildlife by not being complacent now and continuing to knock on our government’s door and raising the level of awareness of our elected officials.