In a final ruling expected to be published on Tuesday, hunters in Alaska will be venturing into national parks to bait hibernating bears with doughnuts and bacon to lure them from their dens to kill them.
According to the The Washington Post, the rule change is set to be published in the Federal Register and will go into effect in 30 days. The latest legislation ends the five-year-old ban on baiting hibernating bears and using artificial light in wolf dens to kill the mothers and their pups.
Furthermore, hunters will also be able to shoot swimming caribou from a boat as well as targeting animals from airplanes and snowmobiles. Hunters in Alaska have argued that the Obama,October 2015 regulations infringe on native hunting practices.
“The amended rule will support the Department’s interest in advancing wildlife conservation goals and objectives, and in ensuring the state of Alaska’s proper management of hunting and trapping in our national preserves, as specified in t he Alaska National Interests Lands Conservation group composed of mostly hunters in the state.
Conservationists have called the changes inhumane citing people travel from around the world to state parks such as Denali, Katmai, Gates of the Arctic and other national parks to watch the animals in their natural habitats.
“Shooting hibernating mama and baby bears is not the conservation legacy that our national parks are meant to preserve and no way to treat of manage park wildlife,” the conservation groups explained stating the Trump administration has”declared open season on bears and wolves.”
The hunters real aim is to reduce the number of wolves and other predators in order to increase the number of caribou, moose and other game animals for more hunters.
In 2018, Reuters reported the Trump administration’s then Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, moved to cancel rules that banned hunting methods on federal land in Alaska animal advocacy groups and conservationists viewed as inhumane and cruel. Under the proposed changes, hunters could use dogs to hunt bears, kill wolves and pups in their dens, and use motor boats to shoot swimming caribou. Other animals could be shot and killed from airplanes and snowmobiles, and animals could be lured over to awaiting hunters with sweets and poisons.
Zinke met several times with the National Rifle Association and the Safari Club, contending hunters “will be provided opportunity for harvests of wolves, coyotes, bears, and other species as requested by the public.”
There are believed to be about 30,000 grizzly bears in Alaska and 100,000 black bears.
“This isn’t hunting — it’s slaughter,” Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “Killing wolves and bears in this cruel, unsportsmanlike fashion is outrageous, especially in national wildlife refuges that belong to all Americans.”
Senator Lisa Murkowsi (R-Alaska) praised the decision and stated it helps to protect Alaska’s hunting and fishing traditions. Hunting and trapping organizations also praised the move.
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