Date: March 8, 2023
Contact: Alaska Region Public Affairs, (907) 644-3512
UPDATE March 8, 2023: The National Park Service has extended the public comment period by 17 days at the request of the State of Alaska. Originally scheduled to close on March 10, 2023, the longer comment period of a total of 77 days will allow interested parties more time to consider the proposal. Submit comments on the proposed rule and Environmental Assessment by March 27, 2023.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska—The National Park Service (NPS) today announced a proposal to amend regulations for hunting and trapping on national preserves in Alaska.
The proposed regulation would reverse the 2020 Alaska Hunting and Trapping rule, which authorized several controversial sport hunting practices, including bear baiting. The new regulation would reduce visitor use conflicts and concerns over potential safety issues related to bear baiting and would also restore consistency between harvest practices allowed in national preserves and NPS management policies with respect to natural processes, abundances and wildlife behavior. The new rule would also properly reflect the federal government’s authority to regulate hunting and trapping on national preserves in Alaska.
“We take seriously our responsibilities under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) and the NPS Organic Act, which include mandates for hunting while also conserving and protecting wildlife in our national preserves," said NPS Alaska Regional Director Sarah Creachbaum. “This proposed rule would realign our efforts to better manage national preserve lands in Alaska for natural processes, as well as address public safety concerns associated with bear baiting.”
The proposed regulations would only apply to hunting and trapping on Alaska national preserves. Federal Subsistence harvest in national parks and preserves in Alaska would not be affected by the proposed changes.
The proposed regulation will be published in the Federal Register on January 9, 2023 and will be open for public comment for 60 days until March 10, 2023.
To immediately view the proposed rule and for information on how to submit comments please visit www.regulations.gov and search for “RIN 1024-AE70”—starting January 9, 2023 visit https://parkplanning.nps.gov/wildliferule2023.
To view and submit comments on the Draft Environmental Assessment please visit https://parkplanning.nps.gov/wildliferule2023.
Once the public comment period ends, NPS will review the comments and that input will inform the final rule, which will be published in the Federal Register. The final rule would be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Last updated: March 8, 2023