April 28, 2017

Senate Passes CRA to Restore Wildlife Management Authority to State of Alaska

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 21, 2017

Today, the Senate passed H.J. Res. 69 sponsored by Rep. Don Young (R-AK). The joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act will overturn the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rule on “Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska.”

This CRA ensures that the role of states will not be supplanted by the federal government. States are the experts and more than capable of responsibly managing wildlife. If the federal government supersedes the State of Alaska, it could happen to any one of the lower 48 states. I look forward to President Trump signing this joint resolution into law, ” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said.

Since its inception, I’ve worked to overturn this shortsighted and illegal rulemaking by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Not only was it a massive jurisdictional power grab, it clearly undermined the laws passed by Congress to protect Alaska’s authority to manage fish and wildlife upon all our lands. Overturning this rule could not be possible without the support of Senator Dan Sullivan and Senator Lisa Murkowski, the State of Alaska – who is fighting this battle in court – and the numerous stakeholders that joined our cause.Chairman Emeritus Young stated.

Background:

On February 16, 2017, the House passed H.J. Res. 69 by a vote of 225-193.

On August, 5, 2016, FWS issued its final rule, which seizes authority away from the State of Alaska to manage fish and wildlife for both recreational and subsistence uses on federal wildlife refuges in Alaska.

The Congressional Review Act empowers Congress to review new federal regulations issued by government agencies. With the passage of a joint resolution and the signature of the president, Congress can overrule a regulation.

Click here for additional information on the rule.

Poliquin supports, Pingree opposes bill to allow killing of denning wolves and bears in Alaska refuges

*Editor’s Note* – I find it interesting the name of this joint resolution is called “Killing Baby Animals in Alaska Act.” Also, the information provided in the article that I have linked to is incorrect – or should I say it is untruthful. If Congress can cede authority to manage animals on wildlife refuges to the states, they can just as easily take it away. Making laws to take freedom and rights from everyone is what they do best. The idea of lifting this ban is to not take away needed tools to manage and control these large predators. Those with knowledge understand that you don’t “manage” large predators. They have to be controlled at all times and should never receive blanket protection.

“The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a joint resolution (H.J. res 69 aka the Killing Baby Animals in Alaska Act) that would allow the killing of wolf pups and bear cubs, and their mothers, in their dens on National Wildlife Refuge lands in Alaska. The vote was 225 to 193.”<<<Read More>>>

Murkowski Welcomes New Interior Orders

Press Release from the Office of Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources:

New Secretarial Orders Expand Access to Federal Lands, Lift Ban on Lead Tackle and Ammunition

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today expressed her support for two secretarial orders announced by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke during his first full day on the job.

Secretarial Order 3347 overturns the last-minute Director’s Order 219, which would have banned lead-based products in ammunition and fishing tackle used on Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters. Director’s Order 219 was of particular concern in the State of Alaska, as many who engage in traditional subsistence activities often rely on equipment that would have been impacted by the ban.

Secretary Zinke also signed Secretarial Order 3346, which reinstated the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council. This order responds to the needs of the sportsmen’s community and will expand and enhance hunting, fishing, and recreational opportunities on public lands.

“Secretary Zinke has wasted no time in taking common sense steps that are widely supported by Alaskans—particularly those who engage in traditional subsistence hunting and fishing on federal lands, and whose ability to gather food for their families was directly threatened by the order he overturned today,” Murkowski said. “I look forward to working with Secretary Zinke on a whole host of issues that are important to Alaskans and sportsmen all across the United States.”

Murkowski is a longtime advocate for sportsmen and women. In the last Congress, she introduced and led the Senate’s bipartisan package of sportsmen’s and public lands related measures. The legislation included provisions that would have protected, expanded, and enhanced hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting opportunities on federal lands.

Murkowski is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. More information about the new Secretarial Orders is available here.

Biologists ask Alaska residents to count moose

In this article, there’s a lot of “mights,” “coulds,” “perhaps,” and “possiblys” to make one wonder if any of this is worth it or if they even know what they are doing. Anchorage, Alaska is noted for sharing space with moose, particularly in the winter but also during the calving season when moose escape the dangers of the four-footed predators to take their chances with the two-footed ones.

One statement in the article says that in an effort to “count” moose in Anchorage, they have asked the residents, to call, text, or email each time they saw a member of the four-legged species so that state biologists could get an official moose count.Official? I doubt it.

According to the article, 94% of Alaska residents “enjoyed watching moose.” Like most polls it appears this one might be a bit misleading, or used as such for this article. Was the poll inquiring whether they liked watching them in their Anchorage yards on a regular basis? Perhaps, but I don’t think so…at least not in the same numbers.

If officials are hoping to get an “official” count of moose in downtown Anchorage, then what? Are they trying to devise a way to mitigate the problem, or is this even viewed as a problem? I’ll leave it up to my readers to imagine the problems that can erupt if it becomes an encouragement to keep moose as a fixture in the downtown. Hmmm.

This Anchorage, Alaska moose spent many a day in this door yard. She loved to lay under the drier vent to catch the warmth.

 

House Passes CRA to Restore Alaskan Sovereignty and Local Management on Federal Wildlife Refuges

Press Release from House Committee on Energy and Natural Resources:

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 16, 2017

Today, the House passed H.J. Res. 69 sponsored by Rep. Don Young (R-AK). This joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act will overturn the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rule on “Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska.”

This rule violates three Congressionally passed statutes that have precedence on this particular issue. Here’s the bottom line: Alaska Department of Fish and Wildlife know exactly what they are doing. They know the area. They know the animals. This rule only stops the fish and wildlife system of Alaska from simply doing their job as they know how to do it.” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said during floor debate.There are some people who might think this only deals with Alaska. Technically it does, but the problem is if this happens to Alaska this could also happen in any one of the lower 48 states. We’re simply one lawsuit away.”

From the beginning, I said I would do everything in my power to overturn this illegal jurisdictional power grab by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Today, we’re one step closer to delivering on that commitment and eliminating a wrongful seizure of Alaska’s fish and wildlife management authority,” Chairman Emeritus Young stated.I’m thankful to all those that played a role in moving this important resolution of disapproval, including that countless state and local stakeholders that worked with me to fight a very serious and alarming overreach by the Executive Branch. I look forward to seeing the swift consideration of H.J. Res. 69 in the Senate.”

The Federal Lands subcommittee will spend this Congress working on legislation to restore our public lands from the policy of benign neglect that has plagued our public lands to the point that we are losing our forests in the west and that has strained the relationships between our communities and our federal agencies. The resolution sponsored by Congressman Young is an excellent start,” Subcommittee on Federal Lands Chairman Tom McClintock (R-CA) said.

Background Information:

On August, 5, 2016, FWS issued its final rule, which seizes authority away from the State of Alaska to manage fish and wildlife for both recreational and subsistence uses on federal wildlife refuges in Alaska.

The Congressional Review Act empowers Congress to review new federal regulations issued by government agencies. With the passage of a joint resolution and the signature of the president, Congress can overrule a regulation.

Click here for additional information on the rule.

Alaska Sues U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Over Refuge Predator Program

“The state of Alaska has filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of a federal agency’s restrictions on predator harvests on wildlife refuges and national parks there.

State attorneys filed the lawsuit Jan. 13 in the U.S. District Court of Alaska, claiming new rules adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) violate a 1980s law authorizing the state to manage wildlife, impairs indigenous peoples’ ability to harvest food for sustenance, and sets a precedence to restrict future fish and game harvests, intended to be under state control.

The new rules prohibit taking black or brown bear cubs or sows with cubs, taking brown bears over bait, taking bears using traps or snares, taking wolves and coyotes from May 1 to Aug. 9, and taking bears from an aircraft or on the same day as air travel has occurred.

In 2015 the National Park Service (NPS), also under the Department of the Interior, placed similar restrictions on national park lands there.”<<<Read More>>>

Alaskans Must Stop Burning Wood to Stay Warm

You Can’t Fix This Kind of STUPID!

“But alas, now comes the federal government to tell the inhabitants of Alaska’s interior that, really, they should not be building fires to keep themselves warm during the winter. The New York Times reports the Environmental Protection Agency could soon declare the Alaskan cities of Fairbanks and North Pole, which have a combined population of about 100,000, in “serious” noncompliance of the Clean Air Act early next year.”<<<Read More>>>

Alaska Wildlife Managers Say USFWS Rule Violates 1980s Law

State wildlife managers say the new rule “harshly restricts the ability of Alaskans to feed themselves through responsible and sustainable harvest, and is “wholly inconsistent with what the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 promised (Alaskans), which gave the state wildlife management authority on state, private and federal lands.”<<<Read More>>>

Final Rule:

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or FWS), are amending regulations for National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) in Alaska that govern predator control and public participation and closure procedures. The amendments to the regulations are designed to clarify how our existing mandates for the conservation of natural and biological diversity, biological integrity, and environmental health on refuges in Alaska relate to predator control; prohibit several particularly effective methods and means for take of predators; and update our public participation and closure procedures. This rule does not change Federal subsistence regulations or restrict the taking of fish or wildlife for subsistence uses under Federal subsistence regulations.<<<Read More>>>

The Rise of Social Science in Wildlife Management: Feds Propose Banning Predator Hunting, Bear Baiting on Alaska Refuge Lands

Sometimes, however, the regulations are complex not because of what’s best for the resource but because of a dynamic wildlife managers often refer to as “social science.

”Social science is the human factor of wildlife management.

Source: The Rise of Social Science in Wildlife Management: Feds Propose Banning Predator Hunting, Bear Baiting on Alaska Refuge Lands | Outdoor Life

Moose hunter v national parks: federal overreach case headed to supreme court

In a remote corner of the wild north, just south of the Arctic Circle, an Alaskan moose hunter and the national park service have set the stage for a legal battle now headed to the US supreme court.

What started nine years ago as a debate over whether a hovercraft (a water vessel that rides on a cushion of air) is the same as a boat (which rides on a hull in the water) has turned into a monster legal battle that has raised questions – and hackles – about state sovereignty and federal overreach.

Source: Moose hunter v national parks: federal overreach case headed to supreme court | US news | The Guardian