Trump administration opens Alaska’s national preserves to cruel practices like trophy-hunting denning bears and wolves and their cubs; proposes disbanding protections on Kenai Wildlife Refuge

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

By on June 10, 2020 with 58 Comments

The Trump administration has given trophy hunters the green light to commit some of the worst sort of carnage on 20 million acres of Alaska’s pristinely beautiful national preserves.

Under a new rule finalized this week, trophy hunters can, starting next month, kill hibernating mother black bears and their cubs in their dens with the aid of artificial lights, shoot wolf and coyote pups and mothers at their dens, use bait like donuts and meat scraps to attract brown and black bears, shoot vulnerable caribou while they are swimming (including with the aid of motorboats), and use dogs to hunt black bears.

This is yet another dastardly move from an administration that, from the start, has carried out a no-holds-barred assault on America’s—and the world’s—most precious wildlife. From weakening protections for native American wildlife covered by the Endangered Species Act to allowing trophy hunters to import the trophies of endangered animals like rhinos and lions, the Department of the Interior, under Trump, has consistently played into the hands of trophy hunters and other corporate interests to dismantle the progress we’ve made for wildlife over decades.

A lot of this, including the National Park Service rule finalized this week, has involved reversing protections for wildlife put in place by the Obama administration.

And they’re not done. Just today, the Department of the Interior proposed another rule, again to overturn the prior administration’s rule that barred baiting of brown bears on two million acres of public lands in the state’s Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Hunting of brown bears over bait is an extreme practice and biologists have been raising alarms about the loss of brown bear populations in Alaska.

We already know what the carnage sanctioned by these rule changes will look like. Before the 2015 rule, thousands of bears and wolves were shot from the air, killed over bait barrels, clubbed or shot in their dens and hunted down with lights at night. Many of these cruel practices professed to reduce numbers of iconic predators in order to boost prey species for hunters, but science has shown that nature cannot be manipulated this way without terrible results.

We have seen brown bear numbers across Alaska dwindle because of intensive management. State lands, where the egregious practices now permitted by the NPS rule are already allowed by the Alaska Board of Game, have seen sharp drops in wildlife populations. Alaska state officials should prefer their wildlife alive rather than dead because the tens of thousands of wildlife watchers who trek into the state each year put far more money into the state’s coffers than a handful of trophy hunters seeking to kill the animals do.

The Humane Society of the United States, along with a coalition of organizations, is currently in federal court defending the Obama-era NPS and Kenai rules. These changes are unlawful because Congress requires that the Department of the Interior conserve and protect wildlife in national preserves and national wildlife refuges. By opening season on the animals it’s supposed to protect just to appease a few trophy hunters, the agency—and this administration—have not only shown themselves to be extremely poor stewards of our public lands, they have let down a majority of Americans who would never sanction such cruelty against our native wildlife.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Help us oppose the Kenai rule

Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. Cat Addari says:

    Destroying our Planet and Eco system for the enjoyment of barbarism and money. Trump is a soulless shit stain on America.

    • Curt hinkle says:

      The worst thing that’s really really bad and sad I would’ve bolted for him almost no matter what but not this you can’t do that and care about our would

    • Ann Hall says:

      No no no. He is a bastard. Not sure his total lack of feelings for animals!! He really needs to GO AWAY!! Cruel and EVIL

    • Martie Hatcher says:

      Write your senators immediately!!

    • Bill Bradley says:

      Trump or America

      If Trump or p pathetic kids had ever been in military and gone to war they be tired of blood and slaughter.

      Cowards at best

    • Mark Patten says:

      It is only a handful of hunters

  2. Debbie says:

    This is so wrong why can’t we just land and animals alone.

  3. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    No podemos permitir este tipo de injusticias de violencia ya basta de diversión Acosta de los animalitos y de los seres vivos

  4. Tina Crees says:

    Unbelievable and cruel !!!

  5. harry says:

    He has to go. He calls himself a environmentalist, he nothing more than a predator on animals.

  6. Sharon Rouse says:

    Unbelievable and selfish.

    • KW says:

      I just heard about this and proceeded to look it up on the internet. Why he hell would he think this would be ok with most people.. Is this his son’s idea? It is really appalling. I don’t want to vote for someone that has such disregard for God’s innocent creatures. The true predators to be feared are those that walk on two legs.

  7. Frances Leard says:

    What the hell is wrong with our President to allow the sick killings of our precious wildlife? This is not hunting it’s a bunch of cowards with big guns for a stinking trophy. What will it take to end this cruelty?

  8. Marlene says:

    Why do humans have to destroy everything natural and marvelous in this world? Why do they have such disrespect for other forms of life? Why do they feel so superior and entitled that they have no remorse in causing great pain, suffering, and death to magnificent creatures? Everything born has a right to live a full, unencumbered life – but certain types of humans lack awareness or empathy or respect for Gods creatures. I want those humans to either evolve or go extinct. They are a disease upon the planet.

  9. Janet Pawlak says:

    This is truly animal cruelty! I hope it can be stopped.

    • Lukas Lerch says:

      Me too I can’t believe that trump should allow trophy hunter the privilege to kill innocent baby wild animals and there moms

  10. William says:

    Trump is destroying the USA. He doesn’t care what will happen to Wildlife and our Environment. We are the laughing stock of the world. We have to take our country and wildlife reserves back.

  11. Laure Walliser-Fajardo says:

    Trump is a wack job! Please save all creatures! Trump doesn’t know what he is doing!

  12. Clou says:

    NO!!!! I don’t know why he cannot see that taking care of the few in spite of the many wins? How can we get in the way of this ruling?

  13. Debra Tomasone says:

    This is barbaric even for this poor excuse for a president. I know this is for his son’s who can’t stand wild life and love nothing more than killing it. It was bad enough when he lifted the ban on bringing back the heads of exotic animals killed in Africa, for his sons. This is a whole new low. This guy has to go. There has to be a way to stop this.

  14. Joe Peters says:

    Gross exaggeration does NO GOOD for your cause. I very much doubt that killing swimming game will EVER be allowed . 99% of hunters and fishermen are ethical and law abiding . A major amount of hunting and fishing in Alaska is Subsistance related. That means they do it to feed themselves and their families .
    I DO heartily agree that trump and his family and his policies MUST go. They are clueless on nearly every subject and should not interfere with the management of our environment and the professionals who study and manage same.

    • AKHamm says:

      I live in a fishing community in Alaska. It’s true that most people are subsistence hunting. We have limits on how many bears or deer one can shoot. I’m most concerned about the general opening up of our resources.

  15. Gayle Steckbeck says:

    Trumps son is an animal trophy hunter that’s why he’s taking away the protections for animals. This is SO wrong. He doesn’t care about the animals, environment,air and water. He needs to be stopped

  16. Joyce says:

    Can the state of Alaska stop this?


    Feb 19, 2017 – 69 nullifies previously imposed federal protections for bears, wolves, and … President Trump Signs Bill Lifting Ban on ‘Predator Control’ Hunting Practices in Alaska … hunting coyotes in their dens and killing hibernating bears and cubs, … wolves, it will make it much more difficult for the U.S. government to …
    Missing: Breaking ‎trophy

  18. Bk says:

    Where do I get my tags? I’m in

  19. Sam Crossley-Osborne says:

    We don’t want more hunting, we need less.

    • Sj says:

      Ha and I suppose that either you think that meat should only come from a grocery store or you are a vegan. Well if either is true look up how those animals are treated during the slaughter. At least when I go hunting that animal doesn’t know what hit them just lights out…. Not saying I agree with trophy hunting of any kind but I hunt for food and guess what my food has no hgh no added hormones gmo’s or all that bad stuff everyone preaches about that’s the worst for you. So to say no more hunting at all I say yeah right keep dreaming

      • Joe Byers says:

        I agree with you 100%! Hunting is a great way to provide natural meat to you and your family. Even though I am pro-hunter, “trophy” hunting is a little stupid….

  20. TONYA T DWYER says:

    I do not believe this at all.

  21. Lukas Lerch says:

    I hope President Donald trump will go to the devil
    I curse trump

  22. john powers says:

    Trophy hunters are sick perverts. Trump is mentally ill. He should be removed from office immediately.

  23. Steven Rhodes says:

    What kind of people would take part in killing babies? Very much wrong. Trump must go. No ethics.

  24. Vicki Callaway says:

    Rich have to play at any cost to you and the earth

  25. Alan Lieberman says:

    The Trump administration are destroying democracy along with our earth. It’s time. VOTE this despicable fraud out!

  26. Bill Bradley says:

    Trump or America

    If Trump or p pathetic kids had ever been in military and gone to war they be tired of blood and slaughter.

    Cowards at best

  27. FS says:

    Why do we as humans feel we have to kill off our environment? Why are we allowing people to kill animals in their dens. This is not right and it needs to animal should die this way. Keep up the fight. I am so sick of our government and people who manipulate leaders for their own personal gain.

  28. Janice says:

    Just remember……all animals are GODs creatures……so on judgement day…those of you who allow this to happen will HAVE to answer to GOD and burn in hell for eternity. You so deserve it.

  29. Me says:

    Is this true ?

  30. Beau says:

    Not right, that needs to stop now.

  31. Ben says:

    Good, outside interests should have no say in Alaska, if you don’t live here, keep your nose out of our business…

  32. AKHamm says:

    Alaskan here. It’s not just Trump. Our governor is all about opening up Alaska for outsiders to use our resources. I don’t know too many who subsistence hunt that would participate in this kind of hunting. This is for tourists, so they can come and have a guarantee of taking a trophy home. Alaskans need to vote for a government who will protect our resources.

  33. Brenda Horton says:

    This 👨 is horrible and ALL THAT FOLLOW HIM IS HORRIBLE. He has to GO please please people vote him OUT. He is destroying this country. He is and has always been wrong he acts like a dictator he most go.

  34. DENNIS says:

    To whom it may concern…..
    This is a lot of BS, we need our wildlife, they have been protected for years, what person in their right mind would do something like this. Allowing HUNTERS to go out and KILL, defensive animals, just for sport, or should I say just for the f
    un of it. Okay, you want a TROPHY to put on your wall, for killing a sleeping BEAR also her Cubs or Wolf along with her Cubs…
    What is next, going to open the door, so they’ll be able to kill Dogs and Cats, just for the sport of it.
    As far as going to another country, to shoot and kill, one of their wildlife, and just for that TROPHY.
    If you needed to hunt for food, then that would be a different story, but, just for a TROPHY.
    Sometimes must be done, to stop this BS……

  35. Pat Granfield says:

    Come on we all know Trump is nuts 🥜

  36. Heather says:

    Would like to see the links to the actual bill he signed stating this is true. I need the facts with proof before I blindly be persuaded to jump on the hate band wagon that so many are getting a round trip ticket on.

  37. Elle says:

    I feel so sorry for Americans, I’m just so shocked you put up with a President that is so CRUEL, to both people and to animals.

  38. MM says:

    Hi – I’m wondering if anyone knows if there is action being taken to stop this?

    I am aware that a year ago there were some awareness campaigns that obviously did not work, but are there any current efforts?

    I would like to fight this but am new to activism and don’t know where to begin.

    Any leads as to how to begin to address this would be welcome.

    Thank you

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