U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today sent a letter to Alaska Regional Director for the National Park Service, Sue Masica, raising concerns regarding newly proposed hunting regulations for the Denali National Preserve, Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve, and Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve.
"The federal government's attempts to interfere with the state's right to manage wildlife within its borders is deeply troubling. The substance of the Park Service's proposed changes is alarming," Murkowski said.
Murkowski, echoing the state of Alaska's interpretation, feels the proposed hunting regulations violate the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), which grants the state, not the Park Service, the ability to manage its own fish and wildlife populations, including regulating harvests.
The new regulations include prohibitions on the taking of brown bears with the aid of bait stations, and shortening the hunting season for wolves and coyotes. The proposed regulations are an attempt by the National Park Service to preempt the state's authority when it comes to hunting in the three preserves.
"I am unconvinced the Service has the right to be imposing their will on the state's hunting regulations at all," Murkowski said. "Alaskans absolutely need to have a fair and realistic opportunity to be heard."