The National Park Service will hold 17 public hearings this fall to hear comment on proposed regulations and environmental assessment related to sport hunting in Alaska’s preserves.
The State of Alaska’s Board of Game loosened its grip recently on predator hunting practices in many areas. However, as assistant regional director of communications for the National Park Service John Quinley says the organization is seeking comment because there are some specific problems.
“It deals with what’s now the relatively small number of practices allowed by state regulation for the taking of bear, wolves and coyotes. We’ve had temporary restrictions on some of these issues for the past three to five years depending on the location. And these would be permanent regulations that would allow us to not have to go through the temporary process every year which is really not what those temporary restrictions were meant for.”
Quinley wants to make it very clear; any regulations that would be imposed would in no way restrict federal subsistence hunting on NPS managed lands.
“This has no effect on federal title eight subsistence users but is only effecting sport hunters on preserves.”
The proposals include prohibitions on taking would and coyote pups and adults in early summer when they den and their pelts have little commercial value, the taking of brown bears over bait stations and the use of artificial light to take black bear cubs and sows with cubs at dens.
“And then we would also change some more procedural aspects of our notification of sport hunting restrictions, our original regulations were from the 1980’s and don’t mention things like using websites and internet as an appropriate means of notifying people.”
The last in-person public hearing is scheduled for November 20th in Naknek at the Bristol Bay Borough Assembly Chambers at 7 PM.