Grizzly with cubs, © Jim Chagares

A Win for Alaska Wildlife!

New rule from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helps protect carnivores from aggressive hunting on national wildlife refuges in Alaska

Wolves, bears and other carnivores are too frequently threatened by government policies aimed at artificially increasing populations of moose, deer and other game species for hunting. In Alaska, even living on a national wildlife refuge could not prevent predators from being shot from a plane or killed in their dens in the name of boosting prey populations. Until today.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stood strong for iconic wildlife today with a new rule to conserve native carnivores on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. The rule forbids certain aggressive hunting practices like aerial gunning, trapping bears, killing mother bears and cubs, and killing denning wolves with pups. These tactics have no place on the 16 federally protected wildlife refuges in Alaska, which exist first and foremost to conserve species in their natural diversity. This is a huge win that will help protect the ecological integrity of these public lands, and ensure that our national wildlife refuges are managed for all wildlife.

Carnivores are critically important to wild lands, and help keep ecosystems in balance. Alaska’s national wildlife refuges span more than 76 million acres and encompass some of the largest and most remote wildlife habitats remaining in the United States. These vast areas are ideal for wide-ranging and large animals like wolves and bears.

Anti-wildlife representatives in Congress and Alaska’s state government have been fighting this rule since it was first proposed in January, and will surely continue to do so. We commend the Fish and Wildlife Service for finalizing this important rule, which upholds bedrock environmental laws like the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act and the Wilderness Act. This action sends a clear message that science, not politics, governs our public lands.

Stand Strong with FWS

Special interests in Congress are already advancing measures to block this important new rule. Show your support by telling FWS you stand with their decision to protect iconic predators by preventing these inhumane killings.

Show your support »

31 Responses to “A Win for Alaska Wildlife!”

  1. Donald Eddinger

    I support the FWS decision on forbidding aggressive hunting tactics. This decision is moving in protecting wildlife.

  2. Rita Jennings

    This is good news indeed, it would be nice if this happened everywhere

  3. Arlene Cirocco

    It is about time that the fish and wildlife people step up to the plate and actually PROTECT our wildlufe!… Wow, what a concept!!!!!

  4. dannythetrucker

    I’m no expert on this stuff, not a hunter myself. But if you protect a wolf, what about the deer, etc… the wolf will then kill ? I understand your point that the hunters wanted to inflate the population of such so they would have an easier time hunting them as well. What are the population numbers there ? How do you determine what a “natural” balance is ? Seems to me this is a bit more complex than simply making it harder to hunt wolves. What happens if the wolf population swells to where they are starving or something ?

    • Sylver_blue


      Wolves actually help promote stronger deer and elk heeds by taking weak ones (increasing natural selection), and by allowing vegetation to regrow in areas which may have been heavily grazed by herds. This in turn allows other animal species to thrive as well. Predators are a vital part of natural ecosystems. Remove them and everything falls into disarray.

      This short film “How Wolves Change Rivers” might help answer some of your other questions as well:


    • Nancy Sackett

      Appreciate your concerns, Danny. From what I have learned, if wild life is left alone Mother Nature usually keeps life in balance. When humans hunt to extreme the status become unbalanced. I believe this is good news indeed. Nancy

    • Michele

      Danny, wolves are very important to a healthy deer/elk population and the entire ecosystem. We are finding that when wolves are reintroduced to their native habitat, the ecosystem for all animals thrives. It is not healthy for deer and elk to simply repopulate with only hunters as their predator. Hunters take the best of the populations while wolves generally take the weakest. Also wolves control their population. If their food sources decrease they do not have pups for a period of time.

      This video may help:

    • Mike Gannon

      Deer populations grow significantly faster and more widespread than wolf populations. Wolf populations have dwindled due to over hunting and habitat loss and due to excessive deer numbers in certain areas they end up starving to death which is a horrible fate to face, especially due to miscalculated wildlife management estimations and judgements. The hunting lobby factors heavy here for certain. Wolves have been over-hunted for years now and their numbers are causing an imbalance from what the natural norms should be. The only thing that improves is the deer/elk hunting but certainly no natural benefits. There’s a ton of studies on this and related topics.

    • Greg

      When Man was a part of Nature there was no need for “management”. Man wants to upset the balance for his greed. When nature is as God intended then it works.
      In the natural world prey and predator will balance out with no interference by man.

  5. James Howarth

    This type of move was long overdue. I applaud these efforts to protect these species from cruel and unfair hunting practices.

    • Arlene Cirocco

      It is about time that we begin to protect our wolves, bears, and coyotes from the illegal hunting, trapping, poaching that is going on in this country. These animals have the Devine right to live their lives to the fullest. The ranchers have got to realize that it is their burden to protect their cattle. The cattle does not belong on Government property. It is the job of the U.S. fish and Wildlife Agency to protect our wild animals, not to kill them off to extinction. These animals, along with others, contribute to our Eco System. A system which is in dire trouble due to human negligence!!

  6. Glendora Terry

    Great news! I’m excited that they stuck up for our great. predator’s! Alaska is very special to me as I grew up there as a child! It’s sad to see that Alaska also has so many looking to kill our great animal’s!

  7. Carmen

    I fully support this rule and hope it’s abided by. What are the consequences if hunters don’t follow it? If hunters are that concerned about making sure they have a kill, let’s lessen the amount of tags issued. They will have to travel if they want multiple kills. Let’s say, 1-2 each reserve. Predators have been hunted, trapped, and killed for too long and serve as an important place on the food chain. It would be wonderful to see them all natural capacity, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife should keep track of and maintain.

  8. elaniebroadhad

    fish and wildlife have a mixed record on protecting predators politics not science often decide the fate of wolves and bears not favored by ranchers and hunters. as for deer i can testify that living in virginia the deer population is numerous so many dye from hunger and no natural predators like wolves to keep them in check we who live on farms have to call huntters to cull the deer that destroy native plants and cause automoble accidents. the fault is not with the bambis but a human unbalance of nature

  9. Kathleen Collins

    Fantastic! People never learn. By killing off the predators to artificially increase the number of prey animals to hunt, they put the ecosystem completely off balance. There will not be enough hunters to kill all of the excess prey animals, and then there will be complaints about that, as the prey animals eat everything in sight, until they reach the point of starving. These hunters only think about right now, not the future. Thank goodness the USFWS stepped in!

  10. Jodie

    Think about this…no animal should be killed, worn or eaten.
    What if a huge thing should come at you with a gun just because it could?

  11. Mike Gannon

    This is great news! I’ve been waiting for this type of action from FWS and they came through!

  12. Beth Hanson

    This is GREAT news. I live in the Ocala National Forest in Florida and there is a large contentious battle to have a “bear hunt” to rid ‘nuisance’ bears and a too large population by lottery and a specified time frame. It is my understanding that it has been put on temporary hold, to try to avoid a repeat of last years hunt disaster (orphaned cubs, unreported kills, and the limit was reached in 24hrs time). Is defenders aware of this tradgedy?

  13. Renato G.

    … Yes .. It’s truly crystalline .. My support on this crucial decision by USFWS is beyond “the Universe/Cosmos” , leaving me into a Peace of Mind situation … Many Thanks a Bunch/Million for that ….

  14. Sheryl Conrad

    GREAT NEWS!!! One battle won, plenty to go.
    I live in New York and went to the Erie County fair today to see an event called “Wolves of the World”. I got to see 10 timber wolves up close, Very beautiful intelligent animals! All the wolves were rescue wolves and the stories told by the woman (who was in the caged area with the wolves) saddened me. Wolves are very misunderstood creatures and people need to do some research before they speak and murder these family oriented animals!!
    After the show I walked through a tented area that had wolves that were taxadermed. I asked the gentlemen how the wolves were obtained and he told me they were hunted. I asked him why are they hunting wolves and he said “because its fun”. This made my stomach turn and saddened me greatly! No animal should be hunted just for “fun”!!
    I ask one question – WHO ARE THE ANIMALS ?!



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