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The Humane Society of the United States releases a new poll revealing that Alaskan voters strongly oppose cruel methods of killing iconic wildlife on National Preserves in Alaska

Media Contact:  Rodi Rosensweig, 203-270-8929, RRosensweig@humanesociety.org

(WASHINGTON) -- A new statewide poll by Remington Research Group commissioned by the Humane Society of the United States shows that a supermajority of Alaskans strongly oppose the Department of the Interior’s plan to permit the use of cruel and unsporting practices to kill bears, wolves and caribou on the National Park Service’s National Preserve lands in Alaska. Alaskans in both major political parties, as well as hunters and non-hunters, stand together in opposing these cruel methods.

On May 22, 2018, the National Park Service proposed a rule that would roll back an Obama-era regulation prohibiting extreme and controversial killing methods on National Preserves in Alaska. The survey showed that a supermajority of Alaskan voters, by a three-to-one margin, oppose allowing hunters to kill black bears and their cubs with artificial lights when they are hibernating in their dens, hunting black bears with packs of hounds, and hunting swimming caribou with the aid of motorboats.

By a two-to-one margin, a supermajority of Alaskan voters oppose the baiting of bears with pet food, grease, rotting game or fish or other high-calorie foods, and killing whole packs of wolves and coyotes when they are raising their pups at their dens.

In addition to opposing these cruel-killing methods, which would be permitted under the plan, a majority of Alaskan voters disfavor the killing of wolves, brown bears, black bears, wolverines, lynx and other wildlife on state lands along the northeast boundary of Denali National Park and Preserve.

Nicole Paquette, vice president of wildlife for the Humane Society of the United States, said, “Alaskans and the majority of Americans oppose the killing of brown bears, black bears, wolves and other species using unthinkably inhumane and unsporting practices on National Preserves in Alaska. Overturning the National Park Service’s 2015 rule is simply and purely motivated by trophy-hunting special-interest groups. This administration is catering to trophy hunters and trappers by proposing to subject our nation’s iconic wildlife to unnecessary cruelty on these federal lands that are owned by all Americans.” 

The poll asked the following questions:

Q: On the National Park Service’s National Preserves in Alaska such as Glacier Bay, a 2015 rule prohibited hunters from killing sleeping black bears (including mothers with dependent cubs) in the den with the aid of artificial lights such as flashlights. Do you support or oppose a proposal to again allow the killing of hibernating black bear mothers and their cubs with the aid of artificial lights on national preserves in Alaska?

Oppose 71 percent

Support: 22 percent

Not sure: 7 percent

Q: On the National Park Service’s National Preserves in Alaska, such as Gates of the Arctic, a 2015 rule prohibited guides from using packs of hounds to chase and corner black bears in trees so that hunters could more readily shoot them. Do you support or oppose a new proposal to again allow guides paid by hunters to hunt bears with hounds on national preserves in Alaska?

Oppose: 69 percent

Support: 26 percent

Not sure: 5 percent

Q: On National Park Service’s National Preserves in Alaska, a 2015 rule prohibited the killing of swimming caribou including with motor-powered boats. Do you support or oppose a new proposal to again allow the killing of swimming caribou, including with motor-powered boats, on national preserves in Alaska?

Oppose: 75 percent

Support: 22 percent

Not sure: 3 percent

Q: On the National Park Service’s National Preserves in Alaska such as Katmai, a 2015 rule prohibited hunters and trappers from baiting brown and black bears. Hunters and trappers bait bears with pet food, grease, rotting game or fish and other high calorie foods. Baiting bears accustoms them to a certain location making it easier for a hunter to shoot them. Do you support or oppose a new proposal to again allow hunters to bait brown and black bears on national preserves in Alaska?

Oppose: 60 percent

Support: 34 percent

Not sure: 6 percent

Q: On the National Park Service’s National Preserves in Alaska, such as Denali, a 2015 rule prohibited hunters and trappers from killing wolves and coyotes at den sites. Do you support or oppose a proposal to again allow hunters and trappers to kill whole wolf- and coyote-family members, including their pups, at their den sites on national preserves in Alaska?

Oppose: 57 percent

Support: 34 percent

Not sure: 9 percent

Each year, hunters and trappers target and kill wolves, brown bears, black bears, wolverines, lynx and other wildlife on state lands along the northeast boundary of Denali National Park & Preserve (also known as the Stampede Trail). This affects Denali’s ecosystem and reduces the Park's 650,000 annual visitors’ wildlife-viewing success. Do you support or oppose establishing a no-kill buffer zone on these state lands adjacent to the northeast boundary of Denali National Park and Preserve to protect wolves, bears, wolverines, lynx and other wildlife?

Support: 54 percent

Oppose: 37 percent

Not sure: 9 percent

The telephone poll of 1,004 statewide Alaskan voters was conducted by Remington Research Group on behalf of the Humane Society of the United States from June 18 through June 19, 2018. The margin of error is plus or minus three percent with a 95 percent level of confidence. 

For photos click HERE