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Contact: Jeanette Pomrenke, Superintendent, (907) 443-2522
Contact: Bud Rice, Environmental Protection Specialist, (907) 644-3530
Bering Land Bridge Accepting Comments on Guided Hunting Environmental Assessment
The National Park Service has released for public review an environmental assessment to consider alternatives to solicit proposals for guided sport hunting in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve in Alaska (Preserve). Guided hunting occurred in the area before and after the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (ANILCA), but ceased on the Preserve by the mid-1980s. Changing conditions in wildlife populations and subsistence use patterns, and requests for new economic opportunities in the region, have prompted the NPS to consider this action.
The environmental assessment evaluates the effects of alternatives for managing guided sport hunting concessions within the Preserve. The alternatives include: 1) the no-action alternative with no guided hunting, 2) awarding contracts to up to three guides with overlapping guide areas in the preserve and an average total of about 30 clients per year, and 3) awarding contracts to up to three guides with separate guide areas with an annual average total of about 20 clients per year. The NPS goal is to authorize these uses in a manner to prevent or minimize adverse effects to park resources, values, and uses.
The NPS is considering this action because local rural residents and the Alaska Professional Hunters Association asked the agency to consider allowing these activities in the Preserve. At present subsistence and sport hunting without guides occurs within the Preserve, but pursuant to State of Alaska regulations a nonresident citizen of the USA cannot hunt a brown/grizzly bear in the State without a licensed guide (unless accompanied by a close relative who is a resident) nor can a nonresident foreign resident hunt any big game species without a licensed guide.
The comment period for the EA will extend 30 days, beginning November 9, 2012, and ending December 9, 2012. Please send written comments to the attention of Bud Rice, NPS Alaska Regional Office, 240 West 5 th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501.
Comments may also be posted at the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment program located on the NPS public comment website at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov .
You may download the EA from the NPS Planning Environment and Public Comment web page at: http://go.nps.gov/ea. If you have specific questions about the EA or public comment process, or to request a hard copy of the EA, please contact Bud Rice, Environmental Protection Specialist, at (907) 644-3530 or Jeanette Pomrenke, Superintendent, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, at (907) 443-2522.