Trump administration on Tuesday revoked an Obama-era ban on slaying and baiting wildlife like black and brown bears, among other animals in Alaska National preserve.
Effective from June 9th, the new National Park Services rule re-allows hunting for recreation in natural preserves of Alaska under the state jurisdiction, Reuters reports. Hunters will now be allowed to bait and slaughter denning black bears with artificial light, kill denning coyotes, wolves, hunt caribou from motorboats, and hunt swimming caribou. All these were banned under the Obama-administration.
Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife, said in a written statement that the Trump administration has “shockingly reached a new low” in their treatment of wildlife. “Allowing the killing of bear cubs and wolf pups in their dens is barbaric and inhumane. The proposed regulations cast aside a primary purpose of national preserves to conserve wildlife and wild places,” Clark told.
Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in 2017 issued the order to allow killing for recreational purposes in the Alaska National preserves, according to Peter Christian, spokesperson of National Park Service. He acknowledged the move was controversial back then, and a vast majority of people were entirely opposed to them re-allowing the killing. But state officials argue Obama’s rule was “wrongheaded.”
Environmental conservation groups have called on this act as inhuman to lure out mother bears and wolves out from the dens and kill them. Alaska director of National Parks Conservation Association, Jim Adams pointed out that the state primarily aims to depopulate the preditors so that the population of caribous, moose, and other game animals, so that people can enjoy bringing them down, The Washington Post reports. He stated that the rule was established because the Federal purpose to preserve wildlife was not achieved.
However, according to Reuters, director of wildlife management for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Eddie Grasser defended the move, saying the hunting practices currently allowed in the National preserve is a part of the indigenous culture. She added those practices are carried by a few people only. Alaska’s state officials, who’re mainly hunters have reportedly criticized Obama’s 5-years-old ban, arguing that it infringed native practices.
Note: more information has been added in the second last and last paragraphs from the previous version of the story. The update also corrects the wrongly stated term ‘national parks’ with ‘national preserves’ in the first paragraph and ‘Trump’s America’ with the ‘Trump administration’ in story title.