The Humane Society of the United States launched a hard-hitting television advertising campaign to stop a movement in Congress to allow egregious killing methods targeting grizzly bears and wolves in Alaska on National Wildlife Refuges—the one category of federal lands specifically set aside for the benefit of wildlife.
The U.S. Senate is considering S.J. Resolution 18, which will revoke the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule prohibiting controversial and scientifically unjustified killing methods on over 76 million acres of federal lands in Alaska. The resolution is advanced under the terms of the Congressional Review Act, which requires no hearings or committee action to examine either the original rule or the implications of a repeal.
The House of Representatives narrowly passed an equivalent measure, H.J. Resolution 69, so if the Senate passes S.J. Resolution 18, only a signature by the president will be needed in order for this common-sense rule to be repealed.
A commercial depicting the wolf pups and bears killed in their dens or scouted by planes or baited and killed in other cruel ways if the legislation passes will run on cable news programs in the Washington, DC metro region.
“Killing hibernating bears, shooting wolf pups in their dens, and chasing down grizzlies by aircraft and then shooting them on the ground is not the stuff of some depraved video game,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “It is exactly what the Alaskan delegation is trying to restore on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. No decent person should support this appalling, despicable treatment of wildlife.”
Specifically, S.J. Resolution 18 would overturn the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s rule prohibiting inhumane and scientifically unjustified killing methods—including shooting wolf pups and bear cubs while at their dens in the spring, using airplanes to scout for grizzly bears to shoot, trapping of bears with cruel steel-jawed leghold traps and wire snares, and luring grizzly bears with food to get a point blank kill—on over 76 million acres of special federal lands in Alaska.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s wildlife protection rule does not apply to subsistence hunting or restrict the killing of wildlife for public safety purposes or defense of property. The professional wildlife managers within the FWS drove this policy, after attempting to work with Alaska’s Board of Game for years.
S.J. Resolution 18 would also block the Administration from ever issuing a rule on this topic, preventing federal wildlife managers from regulating these activities in any way. Congress would have to pass a law prohibiting these egregious hunting methods.
Most Alaskans favor the wildlife protection rule and object to these barbaric practices. A 2016 poll conducted by Remington Research Group showed that Alaska voters strongly support eliminating these cruel and unsporting practices used to kill bears and wolves on National Wildlife Refuges in their state. “Driving down grizzly bear and wolf numbers on refuges is a prescription for drying up tourism and starving the gateway communities that benefit immensely from tourist dollars,” added Pacelle.
Alaskan non-profit organizations including Alaskans FOR Wildlife, Alaska Wildlife Alliance, Friends of Alaska Wildlife Refuges, Lynn Canal Conservation, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Oasis Earth, Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance, Sierra Club—Alaska Chapter and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council support keeping the FWS rule.