DSC is dissatisfied with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) final rule pertaining to management of wildlife in Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuges. The ruling takes away Alaska’s authority to set predator control regulations and other established means and methods of hunting in the state’s 77 million acres of refuges. The rule goes against decades of legal precedent and pre-empts Alaska’s authority to manage its wildlife.
“The impact of this ruling could be felt for generations and may possibly be the first of many government overreaches that directly affect our traditional hunting heritage,” said DSC Executive Director Ben Carter. “Wildlife Refuges in Alaska will now be under the direct influence of a governmental body that has routinely capitulated to the emotions of anti-hunters.”
With the declaration, the USFWS has usurped Alaska’s authority to manage the publicly owned wildlife. Not only has Congress previously directed that the state has the primary authority to managing rules for wildlife, the USFWS ruling conflicts with the provisions of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.
DSC agrees with U.S. Congressman Don Young, of Alaska, when he characterized this ruling as “an unilateral power grab.” This intervention could stand as a dangerous precedent for future exploitations to take control of traditional and successful state management of wildlife.
“Hunters across America should take notice of this evolving situation,” said Carter. “Our rights to hunt are being methodically eroded. If we don’t protect these rights now, it is only a matter of time before we lose our proud heritage.”