U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) 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.
We spoke to Robert Dillon in Sen. Murkowski’s office…
Dillon: “The National Parks Service is trying to unilaterally expand its authority and overturn the Alaska State Board of Game’s decision regarding bear baiting and the extension of wolf and coyote hunting and what the park service has done is close the preserve, three preserves in Alaska, Wrangell-St. Elias, Denali National Preserve and the Yukon-Charley Preserve to prohibit the Game Board’s decisions.”
We asked Dillon why Sen. Murkowski feels this issue is so important…
Dillon: “It’s a sovereignty issue for the state of Alaska.”
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.
While the National Park Service has held hearings on the proposed rules in several locations around Alaska, Murkowski and other state officials are concerned that Alaska’s harsh winter weather will make it difficult for Alaskans to participate in the hearings.