The Truth About Trump’s Rollback on “Extreme Predator Hunting”
Russ Chastain 05.23.18
A recently-proposed rule credited to “the Trump administration” seeks to remove some federal bans on some methods of hunting in Alaska. This has been blasted by such sources as the Huffington Post, and one reading their article could very well be left with the impression that big bad Donald Trump is somehow encouraging people to kill bear cubs and wolf pups in their dens. But that’s simply not true.
The proposed rule is actually from the National Park Service (NPS) and it seeks to remove some government-mandated restrictions on hunting — but not for the reasons or goals suggested by the bleeding hearts.
If you actually take the time to read the document, you will find that one big reason for “rolling back” some of the rules is to simply improve the way wildlife is regulated between states and the federal government. Under Obama, the feds often acted alone and without regard for due process at state and local levels, and I see this new proposal as a continuation of a 2017 move to better work together.
From the doc:
The purpose of this proposed rule is to align sport hunting regulations in national preserves in Alaska with State of Alaska regulations and to enhance consistency with harvest regulations on surrounding non-federal lands and waters…
As for the proposed rule, here it is:
NPS proposes to remove paragraphs (f) and (g) of 36 CFR 13.42. Paragraph (f) states that State of Alaska management actions or laws or regulations that authorize taking of wildlife are not adopted in park areas if they are related to predator reduction efforts, which is defined as efforts with the intent or potential to alter or manipulate natural predator-prey dynamics and associated natural ecological processes, in order to increase harvest of ungulates by humans.
Paragraph (g) sets forth a table of prohibited methods of taking wildlife for sport purposes in national preserves in Alaska. Most of these prohibited methods are also prohibited by the State of Alaska. Some of them, however, conflict with authorizations by the State of Alaska as explained above.
The NPS believes that removing paragraphs (f) and (g) would implement the directive announced in Secretarial Orders 3347 and 3356 by increasing hunting opportunities in national preserves and promoting consistency between federal regulations and state wildlife harvest regulations. In addition, the proposed rule would remove the definitions of “Big game”, “Cub bear”, “Fur animal”, and “Furbearer” from section 13.1 because those terms are only used in paragraphs (f) and (g).
So no, the Trump admin is not seeking to create hunts in which crowds of rich white folks flock to the woods to kill baby critters. The NPS is simply making an attempt to remove one layer of bureaucracy and to return wildlife management to the state, which is where it belongs. If the state determines that certain predator populations are out of control, extreme measures may be exercised if necessary.
Regardless of whether you believe it should be illegal to bait bears or shoot wolves in a den, these are simply not activities which the federal government should be attempting to regulate.
And, although it’s hard to believe I’m about to type these words, it appears that the feds are trying to do something right this time. Too bad the process is so convoluted.