Public Meetings Begin On Proposed Park Service Sport Hunting Ban

The National Park Service will host 17 public hearings across the state beginning Tuesday, October 21 through November 20th to address the agency’s proposals to prohibit some sport hunting on National Park and Preserve lands.

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The new rules apply to all ten of Alaska’s National Parks and Preserves. The total acreage makes up about 9 percent of the land in Alaska. The Parks Service calls the state’s hunting policies for predators “liberalized.” The agency argues state policies are not in keeping with the Park Service’s federal mandate to maintain natural ecosystem.

New rules would permanently prohibit sport hunting for wolves and coyotes on Park lands in early summer.  As well, hunters would not be allowed to harvest brown bears at black bear bait stations or use artificial light to hunt black bear sows and cubs at dens.  For the last four years, the Park Service has implemented temporary restrictions on those hunting practices.

Although the state asked the Park Service to finalize rules regarding predator hunting on park lands last spring, officials with the Department of Fish and Game and the Board of Game do not support the proposed rules.