Trump to make it easier for Alaska hunters to kill wolf pups and bear cubs: report

Trump to make it easier for Alaska hunters to kill wolf pups and bear cubs: report
© Getty

The Trump administration reportedly plans to end an Obama-era rule banning the use of controversial hunting methods in Alaska's national parks.

According to a Monday report by The Washington Post, the rule change is set to be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday and would go into effect 30 days later. The rule would end a five-year ban on baiting hibernating bears from dens with doughnuts and on using artificial light in wolf dens during efforts to kill mothers and pups.

The change would also end bans on shooting swimming caribou from boats and hunting animals from airplanes and snowmobiles.


The rule change was initially proposed in 2018 under former Interior Department Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Biden launches blitz for jobs plan with 'thank you, Georgia' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court sets in motion EPA ban on pesticide linked to developmental issues | Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again | Senate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill MORE, but was put on hold.

Opponents of the ban argued it violated Native American hunting rights in the state. Other Alaska leaders in favor of the change say it will help control the population of wolves and bears and increase the numbers of their prey, such as caribou and moose, which hunters prefer killing for sport.

Conservationists strongly oppose the change.

“Shooting hibernating mama and baby bears is not the conservation legacy that our national parks are meant to preserve and no way to treat or manage park wildlife," Theresa Pierno, president and CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association, told the Post.

Jamie Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife, has previously called the hunting tactics, "barbaric and inhumane."


The tactics, however, are already allowed in other parts of Alaska. Champions of the rule change say it will help align state and federal law in the state.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiBill would honor Ginsburg, O'Connor with statues at Capitol The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators MORE (R-Alaska) has praised the decision as upholding "long-standing states' rights," and she thanked Interior Secretary David Bernhardt for his work to change the rule.

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency faced backlash for authorizing the use of cyanide bombs to kill wild animals that threaten livestock, and President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE also announced a widespread expansion of hunting on federal lands.

The plan revealed last year would increase hunting and fishing access across 1.4 million acres of public land in 74 national wildlife refuges and 15 national fish hatcheries. The administration argued hunting is a billion-dollar revenue source for the government.