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Contact: Diane Chung, (907)246-2120
The National Park Service will hold 17 public hearings this fall on proposed regulations and environmental assessment related to sport hunting in Alaska's national preserves. Katmai National Park and Preserve will be conducting a public hearing on November 20, 2014 at Bristol Bay Borough Assembly Chambers, Naknek, AK from 7-9 p.m.
The proposals include prohibitions on taking wolf and coyote pups and adults in early summer when they den and their pelts have little commercial value; the taking of brown bears over bait stations; and the use of artificial light to take black bear cubs and sows with cubs at dens. Other procedural changes and wildlife harvest related changes are also proposed.
Recent authorizations by the State of Alaska's Board of Game have liberalized predator hunting practices in many areas. This includes national preserves, which are managed in the same manner as national parks, but by law are open to sport hunting. Liberalized predator hunting intended to manipulate natural population dynamics conflicts with National Park Service law and policy. National park areas are managed to maintain natural ecosystems and processes, including wildlife populations and their behaviors. While sport hunting is consistent with the purposes for which national preserves were established in Alaska, NPS policies prohibit reducing native predators for the purpose of increasing numbers of harvested species.
The proposed rule would not restrict federal subsistence hunting on NPS managed lands.
The proposed regulations would apply in the following national preserves: Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, Glacier Bay, Yukon-Charley Rivers, Gates of the Arctic, Noatak, Bering Land Bridge, Lake Clark, Katmai, Aniakchak; and the Alagnak Wild River.
In addition to taking comments in person, comments may be made on line by following the links at nps.gov/akso/management/regulations.cfm or by postal mail to NPS Regulations, 240 W. 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501. A copy of the proposed rule may be requested at the same mailing address. A copy of the proposed rule, draft environmental assessment, economic analysis, news releases and other related material is available at www.nps.gov/akso/management/regulations.cfm.