Stop the gratuitous slaughter of Alaska’s wildlife

February 19, 2017 • 10:15 am

According to the Dodo, the Sierra Club, and other sites, the U.S. House of Representatives just voted to overturn a prior ban on hunting in the wildlife refuges of Alaska. The resolution allows hunters to enter dens and slaughter entire families of bears and wolves, as well as to lure animals with food and shoot them at point-blank range. They can also use the unspeakably cruel leg traps, and even shoot from helicopters!

There seems to be no genuine conservation reason for overturning this ban, which was previously applauded even by hunters, as well as the citizens of Alaska. As the Sierra Club notes, there’s no scientific evidence that killing these animals will effect any kind of needed change, for these mammals are already being managed by the state of Alaska. Rather, this seems to be a Republican-inspired sop to hunters who want to put a grizzly-bear rug on their floor, or simply to blast away at wolves. As The Dodo notes:

Now it’s unclear why the push to overturn the ban was introduced in the first place, as a 2016 poll of Alaska voters showed that most agreed that those practices should be banned. Alaska’s Representative Don Young (R-AK), who has trapped animals in the past, introduced the measure, known as H.J. Resolution 69, anyway.

Congress voted 225 to 193 in favor of it on Thursday, some citing states’ rights as the reason for their vote in favor, despite the resolution being about federal lands.

“Special interest groups are quietly working at the federal and state level to lay the groundwork for federally managed lands to be handed over wholesale to state or even private ownership,” Dan Ashe, then-FWS director, wrote last year in an op-ed. “Unfortunately, without the protections of federal law and the public engagement it ensures, this heritage is incredibly vulnerable.”

The Dodo asked Rep. Young for a comment as to why he would push to allow these practices when so many voters oppose them. His office did not immediately respond.

Young is a jerk; he can’t even be arsed to answer the question. Most likely he wouldn’t want to answer publicly.

Here’s the final House vote on HJ 69, which, as usual, is very strongly divided along party lines;




Here’s the Sierra Club’s statement on the new resolution:

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule. Voiding the rule undermines the management of public lands in Alaska, including not only national wildlife refuge lands, but also national park lands in Denali and other places. It cedes control of wildlife management on national public lands to a narrow set of extreme hunting interests. If passed out of Congress, it could have drastic implications for national public lands across the country.

In response, Alli Harvey, Alaska Representative for the Sierra Club’s Our Wild America campaign issued the following statement.

“The resolution passed today undermines the very premise of wildlife refuges as places for wildlife conservation. The extreme hunting measures promoted by this resolution– from targeting cubs with their mothers to baiting and gunning animals down from planes, are opposed by the majority of Americans and Alaskans. These measures threaten the future of bears, wolves and other predators that are so much a part of the Alaskan identity.

“Across the country wildlife refuges and other public lands support an amazing array of wildlife, recreation opportunities and outdoor economies. They provide refuge not just for wildlife, but people as well. There is value in the existence of wild places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the opportunities they provide to connect with the natural world. Our public lands must not be sold-out to narrow special interests, but preserved to inspire the hopes and dreams of future generations. We have a responsibility to ensure our parks and wildlife refuges remain protected by basic national environmental safeguards.”

Now this isn’t over yet, for the resolution has to be approved by the Senate, and SJ Resolution 18 is now being considered. There are two things you can do. First, sign the Sierra Club’s petition against the Senate bill, which you can find here.

Second, you can contact your Senator, as the bill hasn’t yet passed. The names and sites of your Senator can be found here, and, if you want, you can simply paste in the language from the Sierra Club petition, below. It’s dead easy to write Senators, as every one has a “contact” site where you can fill in your details as a constituent and leave a message. The site even allows you to enter your state in a pull-down menu and find your two senators directly.

Email header: I oppose the slaughter of wolves and grizzly babies in Alaskan wildlife refuges

Email contents:

Please oppose the CRA joint resolution, S.J. Res. 18, which would allow the cruel slaughter of wolf pups and grizzly cubs.

These proposed resolutions to strike the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule would allow wolves and grizzlies to be chased down by air and sprayed with bullets under the false pretense of “predator control.” Repealing this rule would also allow the slaughter of hibernating grizzlies and their cubs and targeting of wolf dens where pups are sheltered from natural predators.

The state of Alaska claims that these so-called “predator control” activities will increase populations of game animals like elk, moose, and caribou but there’s just one problem – there is no scientific evidence to back up that claim. Additionally, polls show most Alaskans do not support the use of these barbaric methods in National Wildlife Refuges.

Please reject the CRA joint resolution — S.J. Res. 18 — to protect grizzlies and wolves from this horrifying practice.

I don’t often ask readers to take action, and I never ask for money. But if you’re an American who opposes this resolution, as do the voters of Alaska themselves, then please drop a note to your Senator and sign the Sierra Club petition. We progressives can fight back against the Republicans, but the animals of Alaska have no such voice in issues concerning their very survival.

h/t: Nicole Reggia

33 thoughts on “Stop the gratuitous slaughter of Alaska’s wildlife

  1. Guess it’s a good thing that such a great number of atheists spent the last two years grousing about such vitally important topics as overwrought students at Oberlin complaining that the lunch menu is culturally insensitive or the renaming of a building at Yale and not the openly antagonistic to the concept of separation of church and state, anti-conservation climate change denier who slipped in the back door to the Oval Office, huh?
    It is under the cover of the circus tent pitched by the Trump administration that the GOP controlled congress is furiously rolling back environmental protections and doing so by legislative fiat in the spectacularly undemocratic fashion we’ve all come to know and love from the party of Lee Atwater and James O’Keefe.
    Political correctness is a perfidious annoyance, to be sure. But just because you find foodies pretentious, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to eat a rotten fish head out of a dumpster.
    And, BTW, Milo Yiannopolous and his antics have about as much to do with free-speech as Arnold Palmer has to do with the Wu-Tang Clan.

    1. I could also turn that around and say that while the loss of some charismatic megafauna in Alaska would indeed be sad, the precedent that leftist identity politics mob rule can shut down free speech and free inquiry at universities might still be the longer term threat and loss to civilization.

  2. One additional thing must be done concerning this and that is the Free Press. Without public knowledge and wide spread coverage of such evil govt. action all the signing in the world won’t get it done. The animal rights organizations must get out there and ask for money to make war on these politicians. Make some commercials for radio and TV – news releases. Whatever it takes – this is where the media, the one that Trumps seems to hate so much can do the job. Informing the people is what it is all about.

    And by the way…it is our job to support and back the press and journalism in the battle against Trump and the republicans. A lot of republicans are following this guy and his BS but I don’t think all of them want to see such things as this.

  3. This proposal is outrageous and I am sorry that without a US address I cannot add my name to the petition against it. It is truly depressing to see the environmental vandals who have managed to get their hands on the levers of power in the US.

    1. “…depressing to see the environmental vandals who have managed to get their hands on the levers of power in the US.”

      How true. It shall not last.

      1. It’s easy enough to unsubscribe from unwanted emails. But you might want to stay connected to environmental organizations because the press doesn’t give all that much coverage to issues threatening animals, plants, and their habitat.

  4. Cruel hunting methods and leg traps are awful. I refuse to buy from Canada Goose because they use coyote fur that they get by trapping animals in those horrid leg traps. It’s ridiculous to me that people in places like Toronto and other Southern Ontario locations wear these coats anyway because the climate is nowhere near cold enough; they wear the clothes (overpriced) to be trendy and it’s sickening.

  5. Signed and donated…thanks for making it easy.

    Sometimes I think republicans introduce bills just to get under the skin of liberals…the only purpose is to agitate.

  6. Worldwide our wildlife is suffering – hunting, poaching, illegal trading, etc. Trophy hunting should be regarded as a heinous crime.

    The human species has such huge potential. Will it all be wasted because of the overwhelming stupidity of those who deny anthropogenic climate change, overpopulation, decimation of other species and all the other challenges of our times?

  7. Jerry, is there any particular reason you’re opposed to “gratuitously” killing animals for fur, yet you’re content to wear animal-skin boots (and even show them off on the Internet)?

        1. Looks worth reading. It is true that we react to animals in a bizarre illogical way. I love animals but do not approve of pets, for reasons that I am sure you could work out. I wear animal products such as wool & leather, & I eat meat on occasions (not every day). I think there is a difference between hunting in a controlled way where predators and prey are preserved, & the killing that is proposed here, which is certsinly not sportsman-like.

  8. Reblogged this on Mick E Talbot Poems and commented:
    The animals of Alaska have no such voice in issues concerning their very survival. If your are an American, even if your not, please show your support for the protection and preservation of all wildlife not just what’s happening in Alaska. Thank you.

  9. Sad and barbaric some people in power have an absolute obsession with killing things owning things and destroying nature. I wish I could sign the petition but its for US residents only.

  10. I am not American, so I cannot sign.😦
    I’m not a hunter myself either, but have several friends who are. When I discussed this with them they were absolutely appalled. Leg traps? Hunting from helicopters? Exterminating predators? No, no and no. These things were clearly nono’s with them, without any reservations. I know, asking friends is not a scientific way of investigating, but still. And they do know a bit about wildlife and ecosystems.
    I hope that ‘hunters’ are not all blamed en bloc for this indeed appalling legislation.

  11. Redemption of our species (if even possible) is certainly not going to be through the abuse of the animal Kingdom.The cruelty involved in the proposed HJ69 bill is Medieval to say the least. God (or whoever you hold to be the one responsible for us) must be apalled.

  12. It’s savagery pure and simple, they aren’t hunting them out of hunger, it’s purely for the thrill of taking an Animals Life. They see themselves as some kind of throwback to Man the Hunter Gatherer taking on the Fauna to protect \nd feed his Family,ok, then hunt them with the same weapons our Ancestors would have used
    ,there wouldn’t be many takers I fancy.

  13. Don young is a disgrace to the world. Hunting for sport or trophy is despicable, barbaric and totally against modern day animal protection rights and acts. Allowing this disgusting murder of innocent and vulnerable wildlife on endangered lists and in so called protected environments. Such as refuges and wildlife parks. Is in breach of the worldwide prevention of illegal or intentional killing or maiming of animals in the wild or domestic. I feel that the people around the world should take legal action against this man and his office. No body has the right to commit unnecessary suffering to any other living being. The retarded people such as Young need to be educated about the importance of all animals, creatures, sea life and birds. They all have an important purpose to the survival of our planet. We have lost many valuable species due to ignorance and greed. Due to mans superiority complex we are still at risk of losing tigers, rhinos, elephants and many many more. It has to stop and Now. People like Don Young are murderers. Therefore, they need to be prosecuted and incarcerated for their total disregard and disrespect to Gods creatures. We all have to protect our planet, that means the animals that sustain and maintain our world. Without them we all will perish! Hunting is a devils game. The devil destroys life. These men are evil to the core. As are those that partake in the brutality that is hunting innocent beings.

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