On Tuesday night the Senate passed a resolution that literally allows people to kill baby wild animals. That’s no hyperbole: The Senate voted 52 - 47 to overturn the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule, which will now cede control of wildlife management on national public lands to a narrow set of extreme hunting interests.
Now hunters can kill grizzlies and wolves on Alaska’s wildlife refuges, including mother grizzlies with their cubs, and wolves with their pups in their dens. State wildlife officials can even shoot at grizzly bears from helicopters (Sarah Palin, eat your grizzly-mama heart out).
“Targeting cubs with mothers, baiting, and other extreme hunting measures promoted by this resolution have no place on our public lands,” said Alli Harvey, Alaska representative with the Sierra Club’s Our Wild America campaign.
Harvey’s words echo Senator Martin Heinrich’s during the resolution’s debate. Heinrich “said the idea of allowing the killing of mother bears and cubs as well as denning wolves and pups would be putting ‘the federal stamp of approval on methods of take that the public views as unethical.’”
Why do Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and the resolution’s supporters want this sort of brutality? They claim that these so-called “predator control” activities will increase elk, moose, and caribou populations. But there’s just one problem: No scientific evidence backs up that claim.
(We know—you’re shocked that some Republicans aren’t interested in science.)
“This resolution undermines science-based wildlife management and the basic premise of public lands as places for wildlife conservation,” said Harvey. “It overrides fundamental national environmental safeguards in the name of narrow special interests.”
H.J. Res. 69 legalizes cruel hunting tactics - like killing hibernating bears & wolf cubs in their dens - on public lands. I voted NO. pic.twitter.com/zCHDroijYU— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) March 21, 2017
To make matters worse, Sierra Club activists and many other wildlife protection groups see this as the start of more attacks on the public lands and Alaska wildlife that need permanent protection.
“Parks and wild places are under relentless attack. Alaska's wildlife refuges are some of country’s most amazing landscapes and home to our most iconic wildlife like wolves and grizzly bears,” said Dan Ritzman, director of Sierra Club’s Alaska program.
“We don’t have many truly wild places left, and this vote makes us fear for one of the biggest and wildest of all: the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We need our members of Congress to stand up for the Arctic Refuge.”
Alaska’s wildlife and public lands need your help—wildlife refuges and public lands nationwide need your support! We need to make sure Congress hears us.
Proud to have voted NO on H.J. Res. 69. We must reject cruel & inhumane hunting methods that threaten America’s wildlife.— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) March 22, 2017
“It’s time Republicans in Congress open their eyes to widespread opposition to these kinds of attacks,” said Harvey. “They need to see the overwhelming support among the American people for protecting public lands, and the wildlife and people that rely on them.”
Check here to see how your senators voted on this resolution—and then make a call to hold them accountable. To thank senators who voted against this resolution, call 1-855-980-2279. To let senators who voted for the resolution know how you feel, call 1-855-980-5639.