Situation in Alaska

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 12:54:19 08/06/16

In Reply to: Hunting in National Parks... posted by 46er


Alaska has a markedly different situation than what we see in the Lower 48, but it is frequently referenced by pro-hunting advocates in their efforts to open national parks down south to sport hunting.

First, hunting is differentiated into "sport hunting" and "subsistence hunting" in Alaskan national parks. Subsistence hunting and trapping is restricted to "qualified, local rural residents".

Next, many Alaskan national parks consist of both traditional national park land and "national preserve" land. National preserve land is typically land that has been added to national parks via expansion since the passage of ANILCA (curious parties are invited to Google it). The preserve land usually allows subsistence hunting and trapping, but in some cases, sport hunting is also allowed.

Near as I can tell, where there is national park land designated as "wilderness", hunting and trapping is prohibited there.

One hot issue in Alaska lately is the ongoing battle about trappers in Denali National Preserve taking wolves along the boundary with Denali National Park. A popular wolf pack whose territory included an area close to the park entrance, where they were frequently seen by visitors, has been eliminated via a combination of trapping impact and other unfortunate events.

Statistically, the odds of visitors to Denali seeing wolves has dropped substantially over the years. It was down from 44% to around 20% a few years ago, and the latest data seems to indicate something approaching 5%. Up here, even though there is a strong, vocal conservationist voice, the state government has enough public support that we are actually hearing of an evolving strategy to conduct another war on predators to boost the caribou and moose populations for the benefit of hunters. Once again, we may see the equivalent of "scavenger hunts" in the Lower 48 being conducted by paid professionals targeting brown bears and wolves.


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