February 26, 2014
The National Park Service is holding public hearings in March on temporary restrictions for certain sport hunting practices in several national preserves in Alaska. The Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve hearing will also take comments on a proposal to prohibit domestic goats for subsistence and all other uses in the park and preserve. Public comments on these provisions will be taken from March 9 through March 22.
Pursuant to both 43 CFR 36.11(e) and 36 CFR 13.460, the superintendent is proposing to prohibit domestic goats in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. The reason for the proposed restriction is to avoid disease transmission from domestic goats to Alaska's Dall's sheep and mountain goat populations. Additional information about the proposed restriction on domestic goats can also be found in the draft 2014 Superintendent's Compendium for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve at: https://www.nps.gov/akso/management/compendium_docs/2014-Proposed/WRST-2014-Proposed-Compendium.pdf.
The temporary wildlife restrictions generally mirror those in place last year.These restrictions are in response to decisions by the Alaska Board of Game to liberalize hunting seasons and methods for wolves, coyotes, and bears. The board has also rejected proposals by the National Park Service to exclude preserves from these practices, an action that would have made federal restrictions unnecessary.The NPS restrictions do not affect subsistence harvest under Federal Subsistence Regulations.
The restrictions include:
- Shortening the open season for wolves and coyotes. Under the proposed rule, wolf and coyote hunting would be open from August 10 through April 30. This would prevent the taking of wolves and pups at den sites during the early summer when the animals are vulnerable and their pelts are in poor condition.
- Prohibiting the use of bait for the taking of brown bears. Until recently, the practice had been prohibited since Statehood and is the only such allowance in North America. The NPS is proposing to prohibit the practice to avoid public safety issues which can arise with bears conditioned to finding human food.
- Prohibiting the use of artificial light when taking black bear sows or cubs at den sites. This practice was opened to all resident hunting license holders in 2010.
The full text of the temporary wildlife restrictions for each affected national preserve will be posted before March 9 at https://www.nps.gov/akso/management/compendiums.cfm
In accordance with 36CFR 13.50, public hearings will be held in a community in or near each of the
affected national preserves during the weeks of March 10 and March 17. In addition, hearings will
be held in Anchorage and Fairbanks, and written comments may be mailed. The NPS will also open a
Facebook chat on the topic on March 20 from 10 a.m. to Noon and postings will be retained for the
The public hearing schedule is listed below. In certain locations, a toll-free number will be open
for commenters to phone in to the hearing and make comments. Comments on any of the temporary wildlife restrictions
may be made at any of the venues. The dial-in number, available where noted below, is 888-921-5898; users
will then dial in a passcode, 5499349#, to be connected to the hearing.
Park & Date Location
Gates of the Arctic National Preserve
Fairbanks Monday, March 10, 6-7:30 p.m. Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center
Bettles Monday, March 10, 6-7:30 p.m. Bettles Ranger Station
Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
Eagle Tuesday, March 11, 6-7:30 p.m. Eagle Public Library
Noatak National Preserve
Kotzebue Monday, March 11, 6-7:30 p.m. NPS Heritage Center, Kotzebue
Lake Clark National Preserve
Port Alsworth Wednesday, March 12, 6:30-8:00 p.m. NPS Visitor Center, Port Alsworth
Denali National Preserve
Denali Park Thursday, March 13, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Murie Science and Learning Center
Katmai National Preserve
Aniakchak National Preserve
King Salmon Thursday, March 13, 7-8:30 p.m. Bristol Bay Borough Assembly Chambers
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve
Nome Monday, March 17, 6-7:30 p.m 214 Front Street, Beringia Room in Nome
Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve
Copper Center Monday, March 17, 4-5:30 p.m. Wrangell-St. Elias N.P. Visitor Center
NPS Alaska Region
Anchorage Tuesday, March 18, 6:45-8:15 p.m. Russian Jack Springs Park Chalet
Comments in writing should be sent to 240 W. 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501 or emailed to