February 14, 2017
Congress seeking to unwind decision by professional wildlife managers and restart inhumane and unethical hunting practices on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska
Congressional Review Act used to put American wildlife icons in line of fire
The Humane Society of the United States launched a hard-hitting television advertising campaign to stop a movement in Congress to allow egregious killing methods targeting grizzly bears and wolves in Alaska on National Wildlife Refuges – the one category of federal lands specifically set aside for the benefit of wildlife.
A commercial depicting the wolf cubs and bears killed in their dens or scouted by planes or baited and killed in other cruel ways under Congressional Review Act Joint Resolution H.J. Res. 69 will run on CNN, FoxNews, and MSNBC in the first go-around for this campaign.
“Killing hibernating bears, shooting wolf pups in their dens, and chasing down grizzlies by aircraft and then shooting them on the ground is not the stuff of some depraved video game,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “It is exactly what Don Young is trying to restore on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. No decent person should support this appalling, despicable treatment of wildlife.”
Specifically, H.J. Res. 69 would overturn the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s rule prohibiting inhumane and scientifically unjustified killing methods – including shooting or trapping wolves while at their dens in the spring when they are rearing pups, using airplanes to scout for grizzly bears to shoot, trapping of bears with cruel steel-jawed leghold traps and wire snares, and luring grizzly bears with food to get a point blank kill – on over 76 million acres of special federal lands in Alaska. The rule does not apply to subsistence hunting or restrict the killing of wildlife for public safety purposes or defense of property. The professional wildlife managers within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service drove this policy, after attempting to work with Alaska’s Board of Game for years.
H.J. Res. 69 would also block the Administration from ever issuing a rule on this topic, leaving the power to pass a law prohibiting these egregious hunting methods solely in the hands of Congress.
Most Alaskans favor the rule and object to these barbaric practices. A 2016 poll conducted by Remington Research Group showed that Alaska voters strongly support eliminating these cruel and unsporting practices used to kill bears and wolves on National Wildlife Refuges in their state. “Driving down grizzly bear and wolf numbers on refuges is a prescription for drying up tourism and starving the gateway communities that benefit immensely from tourist dollars,” added Pacelle.
Alaskan non-profit organizations including Alaskans FOR Wildlife, Alaska Wildlife Alliance, Friends of Alaska Wildlife Refuges, Lynn Canal Conservation, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Oasis Earth, Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance, Sierra Club – Alaska Chapter and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council support the FWS rule and oppose H.J. Res. 69.