DCC Submits Comments on NPS Temporary Wildlife Restrictions

Camp Denali 07 03 436Today is the last day for the public to submit comments on the Alaska Region’s Compendium which includes changes regarding temporary closures and restrictions on the take of wildlife in the Preserves. DCC recently submitted comments in support of the National Park Service’s proposed closures to certain methods and means of taking predators in the Denali Preserves. These temporary regulations are in response to actions taken by Alaska’s Board of Game that have liberalized the take of black bears, grizzly bears, wolves and coyotes on Preserve lands managed by the NPS. The full extent of the proposed temporary regulations can be found at http://www.nps.gov/akso/management/pdf/2014-Temporary-Wildlife-Restrictions-and-Determination-of-Need-2-21-2014.pdf.

To wit, we support NPS’ prohibition of taking a black bear artificial light at a den site in the Preserve, we support NPS’ prohibition on taking a black bear cub or a sow with a cub at a den site, we support NPS’ prohibition of taking a brown bear at a bait station in the Preserve, and we support NPS’ prohibition of taking wolves or coyotes from May 1 through August 9.

All of these practices have recently been allowed by State of Alaska hunting rules, when formerly they were prohibited. The State’s new policies are aimed at managing wildlife for an abundance of prey species for hunters, which is inconsistent with the NPS Management Policies directive to “protect natural systems, processes, and wildlife populations, including the natural abundances, diversities, distributions, densities, age-class distributions, populations, habitats, genetics, and behaviors of wildlife.” It is also inconsistent with the purposes for Alaska parks expressed in section 101 of ANILCA, to “protect extensive, unaltered ecosystems in their natural state.” These protected ecosystems include unaltered predator-prey relationships which could be disrupted through excessive take of predators by humans. The State’s uncooperative disregard for the purposes of Denali and the management priorities of NPS is inexplicable after decades of mutual accommodation since ANILCA created the Preserves in 1980. It is the State’s actions that make it necessary for NPS to take the step of implementing these temporary regulations.

Because the State of Alaska appears unwilling to exempt NPS-managed lands from its rule changes, temporary regulations will prove insufficient. We also strongly support any NPS efforts to make these regulations permanent.

To see the letter we submitted click: DCC NPS Temporary Wildlife Restriction Comments 2014. There is still time for you to submit comments as well. It is extremely important that as many members of the public as possible comment in support of NPS on these regulations, to demonstrate that Alaska citizens support NPS policies of managing for diverse wildlife populations.

  • Send written comments in support of the temporary regulations. Deadline for receipt of comments is April 5, 2014. Email for comments is AKRO_compendium@nps.gov
  • Send an email to the Alaska Board of Game, saying that you support these regulations. The BoG can be reached by emailing  kristy.tibbles@alaska.gov
  • If you like, send us a copy of your testimony, to dcc@denalicitizens.org

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