Senate Joint Resolution 18 will soon come up for a vote in the Senate. This measure would allow hunters on national wildlife refuges in Alaska to use brutal and unsporting methods to slaughter bears, wolves and coyotes. It would allow slaughtering baby bear cubs and wolf and coyote pups in their dens, alongside their mothers. It would permit flying overhead in planes to track bears so that they can later be shot. It would let hunters set vicious steel-jawed leg hold traps and wire snares. Methods like these are banned on almost all federal lands.
These animals, this land, are national treasures. If we allow these practices in Alaska, what’s to say that other states won’t follow suit? Would any of us want to see hunting in Yellowstone National Park?
Through polls and public testimony, Alaskans themselves have voiced their opposition. One reason they oppose is wildlife watchers spend five times as much in Alaska as hunters do. Allow hunters to slaughter wildlife and what will be left to attract tourists? Congress made the decision to protect these treasures by setting up a national system of parks and refuges.
Please, for the good of our nation’s wildlife, for the good of our national park system, and for the good of the rule of law, urge Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst to vote no on SJR 18.
Iowa state director for The Humane Society of the United States