NPS eyes reg changes for subsistence use of animal parts for the arts

The National Park Service is proposing a regulatory change that would allow subsistence users to collect animal parts and plants for use in arts and crafts.

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Using caribou antlers as an example, NPS Alaska spokesman John Quinley says hunting would no longer be the only way to get them.

“If you found caribou antlers that had been shed or from a natural mortality, like a wolf kill, it has not been legal for them to take those antlers,” Quinley said. “And this fixes that sort of strange lineup of existing rules.”

The change is among several NPS proposals out for public comment. Another would limit the types of bait used to attract and kill bears, to natural foods.

“Fish or wildlife remains and it would eliminate things like dog food and stale bread,” Quinley said.

Quinley says the change is aimed at decreasing likelihood of bears being attracted to human foods. Another proposed regulation would ban collection of living creatures.

“And this stems from a handful of requests from the public to take falcon chicks,” Quinley said. “And that’s an action that’s, under certain circumstances, authorized by the state of Alaska and Fish & Wildlife Service.”

Quinley says the regulation clarifies that although the activity is available to permitted falconers on some state and federal lands, it’s illegal in Alaska’s national parks and preserves.

Public comment on all the proposals is being accepted until April 12th.