In a blow to environmentalists and animal rights supporters, President Donald Trump has signed a new law that revokes the Obama Administration’s rule against “predator control” hunting on Alaska’s refuges. The rule prevented hunters from killing bears as they hibernated in their dens or killing wolf cubs in dens. It also bars hunting from helicopters.
Alaska has been pushing for the expansion of hunting in federal wildlife refuges despite, as we discussed earlier, the devastating impact of hunting on iconic wolf packs in Denali. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials held the line in protection of these animals. Now, however, Congress has interceded to reverse the rule. While I respect the right of Congress to reverse such agency decisions, I disagree with this action. These are limited and reasonable limitations for protected areas of Alaska. Given the huge benefits from eco-tourism in the state, I am hoping that eventually the state will join other such areas in actively protecting these animals.