News Release

National Park Service Releases Amended Alaska Sport Hunting and Trapping Regulation to Protect Visitor Safety and Wildlife

Date: June 28, 2024
Contact: Peter Christian, 907-644-3512

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The National Park Service (NPS) today announced a final rule that amends its 2020 regulation for sport hunting and trapping in Alaska national preserves. The new rule, which applies only to sport hunting, prohibits bear baiting due to significant public safety concerns. The final rule reflects extensive engagement with stakeholders, Alaska Native Tribes and Corporations, local and state leaders, and the public.   

In February 2022, the NPS initiated rulemaking to reconsider the 2020 regulation after early engagement with Alaska Native Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations. Later that year, a Federal District judge remanded the 2020 regulation back to NPS to address the court’s decision that the 2020 rule violated NPS laws and policies in some respects.  

The new rule addresses the court’s concerns and is more consistent with NPS obligations to manage for natural processes, protect wildlife and promote visitor safety. NPS accomplished this by focusing the rule to address urgent public safety dangers posed by bear baiting, which had been authorized by the 2020 rule. Bear baiting encourages bears to become conditioned to human-provided food, increasing the likelihood of negative human-bear interactions. The final rule also affirms the federal government’s role in wildlife management on Alaska national preserves, consistent with the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) and does not affect activities by qualified federal subsistence users. 

“The amended rule will advance wildlife conservation goals and objectives, including a prohibition on bear baiting in our national preserves, as mandated under the NPS Organic Act of 1916,” NPS Alaska Regional Director Sarah Creachbaum said. “We take our responsibilities under ANILCA seriously and the new rule reflects our commitment to providing conscientious service to the American public.”  

 The amended rule Hunting and Trapping in Alaska National Preserves will be available in the Federal Register in the coming days but can be previewed on the NPS website. The final rule will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. 

Last updated: June 28, 2024