GOP Congress paints target on protected Alaskan wildlife
This anti-conservationist measure would render null and void previous rules enacted by the Obama administration that protect the “natural and biological diversity, biological integrity, and environmental health on refuges in Alaska.”
In an unnervingly regressive move, the Republican-majority Congress has just passed a resolution that would expand hunters’ ability to track and kill protected wildlife living on 76 million acres of Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge lands; legalizing specifically the barbaric and pointless slaughter of defenselessly hibernating bear mothers and their cubs as well as mother wolves and their pups.
Not only is the nature of the resolution cringeworthy, but the methods allowable are equally, archaically cruel. Hunters would be allowed to scout and hunt via low-flying aircraft, disrupt nesting dens, and even employ torturous, steel-jawed leg traps to trap and kill these otherwise harmless animals.
This anti-conservationist measure would render null and void previous rules enacted by the Obama administration that protect the “natural and biological diversity, biological integrity, and environmental health on refuges in Alaska” and that “prohibit several particularly effective methods and means for take of predators.”
Representative Don Young (R-AK) introduced the bill — H.J.Res.69 — as an admonishment against “federal overreach” on hunting rules in Alaska. According to Young, current regulations as set in place by the Obama administration are “a classic example again from the previous administration of overreaching, do it our way or get out of the way, we don’t care about the Constitution, we don’t care about the law, we’re going to do it our way.”
Yet, contrary to Young’s buzzword-fueled testimony, the rules set in place by the Obama administration does not, in fact, contradict any clause of the Constitution, as it applies to federal lands only.
The bill just awaits Trump’s signature to become law, one which it will almost certainly obtain thanks to the billionaire’s cartoonish disdain for anything resembling “regulatory” concern over natural resources and protections.
Meanwhile, state polls clearly indicate that ”Alaska voters strongly support an end to cruel and unsporting practices used to kill bears, wolves and coyotes on the state’s National Wildlife Refuges.”
So why the bill, then? Land. With states wrangling for control over federal lands and their inhabitants (namely, endangered animals), increased control would mean exponentially defined power to grant private access to these lands for increased resource exploitation and subsequent profits.