Alaska Wildlife: Where Do We Go from Here?

The fight continues for wildlife on Alaska national wildlife refuges.

Last week brought devastating news for wildlife in Alaska. Despite our best efforts and a great outpouring of support and advocacy from many Defenders across the country, the Senate voted in favor of H.J. Res. 69, adding its approval to the bill that overturns the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule.

With the Senate’s approval, the legislation proceeded to the president and there is little hope for a veto. We will have to move forward without the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule.

The Fight for Public Lands and Wildlife Continues

The revocation of the Alaska Refuges Rule could have dire consequences for some of our nation’s most iconic wildlife. The state of Alaska could attempt to apply its unscientific predator control policy on federal refuges, authorizing extreme practices including killing mother bears with cubs, killing wolves with pups during denning season, and baiting, snaring and scouting bears from the air for hunting. All of this could occur on public lands that belong to all of us.

Undeterred, Defenders remains committed to protecting bears, wolves and other carnivores in Alaska.  We are prepared to engage in the public decision-making processes required prior to any potential application of the state’s egregious predator control policy on national wildlife refuges in Alaska, and will take the fight to court, if necessary. Together, we will be the voice for species that could be harmed by this misguided program and we will do everything in our power to stop future attacks on our public lands and wildlife.

In addition to opening the door for Alaska’s nefarious predator control program, H.J. Res. 69 also challenges the way national wildlife refuges are traditionally managed. As Defenders’ president and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark so precisely put it, “[H.J. Res. 69] is a disturbing abdication of federal authority over public lands and resources owned by all Americans.” It could therefore, encourage further efforts by Congress and special interest groups to sell off and sell out our public lands and resources across the country.

More of Alaska’s Pristine Landscape and Imperiled Wildlife in Danger

Congress’ next target is likely to be the iconic Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the crown jewel of the National Wildlife Refuge System, home to imperiled polar bears, the Porcupine caribou herd and millions of migratory birds.

The long-standing debate about whether to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge may get new legs in a political climate that favors exploitation over preservation of our natural resources. With renewed momentum in a Congress friendly to the oil industry and buoyed by an administration focused on increasing resource extraction on public lands, the atmosphere is ominously set for the next fight to protect one of the last great landscapes in America.

Tell Your Congressperson You are Paying Attention

We cannot let Congress’ failure to act on the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule lead to a lack of action to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  We must hold our lawmakers accountable by reminding them of their failure to protect bears, wolves and other carnivores in Alaska, so they know we will not let up in the fight to defend our public lands and wildlife.

Sign up now to receive Defenders Action Alerts and learn how you can hold your Senators accountable for revoking the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule. You will also be notified about future actions and petitions you can join to make a difference for wildlife and wild places.

And as Congress sets its sights on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, we at Defenders will do what we do best: work with you to keep up the fight, no matter what.


18 Responses to “Alaska Wildlife: Where Do We Go from Here?”

  1. Nancy Smith

    It’s time to open up a Go Fund Me Page and get people to donate to it and your group and you guys along with the other Wildlife Groups come together and Sue Congressman Don Young and the others who shared this bill and who voted Yes to this bill. We need to begin suing these lawmakers, the trappers, the hunters who all abuse and kill and destroy our wildlife.

  2. Nancy Smith

    “Alaska is a bucket list dream for me… but it will never happen as long as this going on. I will not spend a dime there.” #BoycottAlaska #AnimalCruelty #KillingAnimalsAsleepInDens #InhumaneLegHoldTraps 💔

  3. Connie Gauger

    Protect all of the animals including of course these wonderful species in Alaska

  4. Lydia Fish

    I would like to thank the senators (including both of mine!) who did NOT support this bill.

  5. Lelia Vaughan

    We cannot close the door on the very existence of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. As all citizens are now keeping a watchful eye on Congress, the Executive branch, and the judicial branch, senators and representatives must be aware that we are paying careful attention to actions by those representing us. We are voicing our concerns. We are very focused on protecting our environment, our wildlife, and wildlife habitat. We have but one environment. There is no alternative. We must stand up to our congressional leaders who favor big oil,gas, and coal companies. We can prevent further destruction and loss of crucial habitat by voicing our concerns loudly and with dedication.

  6. Robin Naylor

    The American people will not sit back and let the slaughter of our iconic wolves, bears etc. in our Wildlife Refuges happen! It’s a Crime against Nature.
    It’s a Crime against God…

  7. Marguerite Ormon

    Please I beg you with all my heart do not destroy this eco system and drive to extinction these beautiful indigenous animals . This is the heart and soul of our children’s future . Please respect and protect this !

  8. Claudette dubois

    Wildlife is out heritage to protect for the future. Along with clean water and air. Unblemished land. Set up safe sanctuaries and refuges for the animals that contribute to the world’s beauty and natural balance of nature. Save them all

  9. Diane Stevenson

    The protection and preservation of these and other amazing animals must be upheld .

  10. Steve Wireman

    What’s the use of having a National Wildlife Refuge, if you are going to kill the wolves & bears in it? Thought the purpose of having a wildlife refuge, was to protect the wildlife in it? I think you people in the senate are confused.

  11. JoAnn Melgar

    I would like to see every single Senator and Congressional rep who voted for this horrific bill publically shamed. If their children and grandchildren knew they voted for this bill they wouldn’t be able to face them.

  12. Ann New

    Could you guys publish a list of what senators voted and how they voted. Even a list of the the Representatives in the House who passed it previously…

  13. Maggie Sinclair

    We need to do more than just petition. I’m going out there to help fight the senseless killing of wildlife. The government murders predators and then complains about over population of other species – which again they begin to slaughter to “maintain” the population. We can’t keep letting this cycle happen.

  14. Ruth Connery

    How did the bill to allow ‘hunters” in Alaska to kill animals (mamas and babies) in their dens get pass the congress???? And now sits on the President’s dest which we can fathom what that means. What did Defenders to do prevent this?
    People go to Alaska to see Wildlife and now there won’t be any because of this horrendous bill. What does this mean for other National Parks and refuges.
    What are you doing with the money that is donated to you to fight these things and PREVENT them from happening???

  15. Beverly Roxby

    The goal seems to be to take the word ‘refuge’ out of wildlife. Make wildlife subject to the whims of hunter humans and others who can’t stand sharing top niche status with other predators.

    Our national parks were not meant to be zoos, the outskirts of which become killing grounds. Likewise refuges. Something has got to be left sacred.

  16. Children of God

    The monsters that signed this into congress have no moral values, have no souls, and has no God. When you destroy our land, you destroy God, when you raped and pillage our lands you are destroying God. When you murder our animal kingdoms, you are murdering God. Don’t you people see that God is dying? People like the Trump family are not people of God but are people of death and destruction?
    When you people voted for Trump you voted to end life as we know it.
    What sickens us the worse is that there are animals that are in an extinction crisis and the majority of the house which is republicans ruled in favor of going on a killing spree to shoot to kill our most endangered species. We don’t even think that the people even know that this bill was passed because if they did, there would be more rioting in the streets, more crisis after crisis, yet the streets are silent, the American people are silent which is telling us that they obviously don’t know what you just did Trump and cronies. We will make sure that this is seen and the people will rise up against you until your removed out of office and hopefully out of this country.

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