NOTE by WELDON LEE . . .
I received the following correspondence from the ALASKA WILDLIFE ALLIANCE. This is the first time I have ever posted any correspondence from another source on my blog. However, I believe this issue is extremely important. If you care anything about our wild brothers and sisters, you must speak up.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
The U.S. Senate will soon vote on whether to reinstate predator control measures on federally managed refuges and preserves. Please tell your Senators that is not how you want Alaska’s wildlife refuges managed!
Last year the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USF&WS) adopted new regulations that banned the state’s egregious methods of predator control on federal refuge and preserve lands in Alaska. Last month the House of Representatives passed – despite many pleas to the contrary – a resolution approving the predator control. Very soon a similar resolution will come up for a vote in the Senate.
Again, we need your voice to tell Senators such predator control does not belong on Alaska’s wildlife refuges. We especially need comments from Alaskans, but input from everyone will be helpful.
Senate Joint Resolution 18 (SJR 18) is sponsored by Alaska Republican Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski. Under the terms of the seldom-used Congressional Review Act, Congress has the authority to undo rules banning predator control – which were duly approved by the USF&WS. If SJR 18 is approved and signed into law, not only would the predator killing be reinstated, but USF&WS would be prohibited from adopting the same or substantially similar regulations in the future.
It is crucial that we voice strong and compelling support for the USF&WS’s regulations.
We need your letters opposing SJR 18 no later than Saturday, March 18. The Senate is expected to vote on the resolution sometime next week.
When you write, please include your name, city and state. Note: if you wrote comments to Rep. Don Young last month opposing HJR 69 you can – with a few tweaks – use the same letter.
Please send your comments to AWA: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will forward the letters to the Washington, D.C. office of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS); staff there will distribute the letters in person as part of a coordinated, all-out campaign to defeat the resolution. (This mirrors the coordinated effort we used against the House vote last month – and several Alaska letters were read aloud during the hearing. Unfortunately, the House resolution passed by a vote of 225 to 193.)
Background and talking points are provided below.
Please address comments to Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan.
You may also make comments to the senators directly:
email@example.com (202) 224-6665
https://www.sullivan.senate.gov/contact/email (202) 224-3004
LOWER 48 SUPPORTERS:
Please contact your senators directly. Go to
to find senators’ contact information by state.
You may also address comments to Alaska’s Senators Murkowski and Sullivan using AWA’s email address above; we will forward them to the HSUS in Washington.
The HSUS has identified Senators who may be “on the fence” on this issue, and is asking constituents in their states to make a special effort to send a message against SJR 18:
Arizona (Sen. McCain)
Maine (Senators King and Collins)
Pennsylvania (Senators Casey and Toomey)
South Carolina (Sen. Graham)
REMEMBER: Regardless of your home state, HSUS (through AWA) would like to collect as many letters as possible addressed to Alaska Senators Sullivan and Murkowski.
The new regulations were drafted by the USF&WS when it concluded that intensifying predator control by the state, including
- Killing black or brown bear cubs or sows with cubs;
- Killing brown bears over bait, or by using traps or snares;
- Killing wolves and coyotes during the denning season; and
- Shooting predators (including wolves) from an aircraft or on the same day as air travel has occurred;
was at odds with its mission of managing refuge and preserve lands for natural diversity. After months of review and public hearings – where a majority of comments from Alaskans expressed support – the rules were formally adopted last August.
Ever since then, pro-hunting groups have been fighting hard to overturn them.
It is imperative that we speak up and support the USF&WS!
Predator control methods, including those listed above, are routinely implemented by the Alaska Board of Game to produce artificially high numbers of moose and caribou for hunters, at the expense of predators such as wolves, bears, coyotes and wolverines. We must tell Congress to defeat this resolution and keep predator control out of our refuges!
TALKING POINTS TO SENATORS:
- Please vote “no” on SJR 18. Do not overturn USF&WS regulations banning predator control on Alaska’s wildlife refuges.
- Contrary to messages from Alaska’s Congressional delegation, many, many Alaskans do not want predator control on refuges and they strongly oppose this resolution.
- Alaskans are not alone in their opposition to this resolution. There is enormous public and political opposition from across the country.
- Federal control is not ceded to Alaska by the Statehood Act, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), or any other means.
- By law the USF&WS is required by to manage refuges “to ensure that . . . biological integrity, biological diversity, and environmental health are maintained.” Under ANILCA, the first mandate for all refuges in Alaska is to “conserve fish and wildlife populations and habitats in their natural diversity…for the continuing benefit of present and future generations of all Americans.”
- Nowhere is there law or precedent that the refuges should be managed as game farms where predators are decimated so hunters can easily harvest more moose and caribou.
- The wildlife on Alaska’s national refuge lands belongs to all Alaskans and all Americans. Americans’ tax dollars pay for refuge management. We demand professional management for the benefit of all users, not just the minority of hunters.
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It is crucial that we support these USF&WS rules by asking Senators to defeat this resolution.
As always, thank you for supporting Alaska’s wildlife!