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Trump Signs Into Law a Tragedy for Alaskan Wildlife

Trump Signs Into Law a Tragedy for Alaskan Wildlife

Trump Signs Into Law a Tragedy for Alaskan Wildlife

House Joint Resolution 69 has been signed into law by President Trump earlier this week. Bears, wolves, and coyotes in Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuges will now lose the few meaningful protections they currently have. The bill overturns a previous rule issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) banning any “non-subsistence” hunting of predators within National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. Not only will House Joint Resolution 69 allow predators to be hunted in the refuges, but it will allow horrific types of slaughter, including shooting bears from helicopters or aircraft, killing bears who are with cubs, killing hibernating bears, killing wolves and coyotes during their denning seasons, and using leg-hold traps and snares.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Wildlife Refuge system is meant to be a “national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans. ”The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service created protections for predators on Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuges as a means to check the state of Alaska’s practice of killing predators to keep the populations of “game” species artificially inflated. The lawmakers in the House and Senate who voted for this bill have shown that they support a continued war on wildlife in Alaska, and President Trump has made it clear that he stands with them by signing the bill.

Alaska’s persecution of predators is inhumane and guided by a perverse philosophy that can only conceive of animals like bears and wolves as competition for “game” species, or as trophies to display in someone's home. Although wildlife watching brings billions of dollars into Alaska’s economy every year, and the majority of Alaska’s voters do not support the cruel practices allowed again under House Joint Resolution 69, many of our lawmakers and our president have shown that they do not care about wild animals or the will of the public. This is a tragic time for American wildlife; we should remain vigilant and be on the lookout for continued attacks of this nature on our nation’s wild creatures and their habitats.

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