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Killing Predator Pups, Cubs OK in Preserves

Thomas D. Mangelsen (c) 2015
Independent Record

The National Park Service is rescinding a ban within Alaska’s national preserves on some controversial state-snctioned predator harvests. NPS Alaska spokesperson Pete Christian says although practices like killing bears and wolves in dens, run counter to

the park service’s mission, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, which created or expanded many of Alaska’s national preserves, grants the state harvest management authority.     

NPS State ANILCA: Q:”…by state law.” :14  

The Park Service decision to defer to the state is the latest move in a legal conflict that dates back to when the previous federal administration initially banned the state-permitted predator harvests on Alaska’s preserve lands. 

NPS State Offensive: Q:”…in my view.” :02

Alaska US Senator Dan Sullivan highlights a diverse group of stakeholders who back the park service decision to abide by state regulations.

NPS State T2T: Q:”…actually engage in.” :14    

Pat Lavin with Defenders of Wildlife in Anchorage points to harvests like killing bear cubs and wolf pups in dens, as extreme and inconsistent with the purpose of national preserves.

NPS State Clash: Q:”…erase that line.” :15

Lavin would not speculate on the possibility of a suit be filed to challenge the Park Service decision. The agency’s Christian notes that the Park Service retains authority to block state sanctioned harvests in some circumstances.

NPS Retains: Q:”…to close those.” :12

Christian says the NPS does not expect population level effects on the predator species, noting that the state has only authorized the predator hunts in limited areas, where the practices have been customary and traditional.

Dan has been in public radio news in Alaska since 1993. He’s worked as a reporter, newscaster and talk show host at stations in McGrath, Valdez and Fairbanks. Dan’s experience includes coverage of a wide range of topics, from wolf control to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and dog mushing.