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Picture a grizzly with tiny cubs trundling over the snowy tundra. Or black bear foraging in the woods. Or a wolf family sleepily curled in the den, the cubs at the mother's side. Alaska's wildlife refuges, established "to conserve fish and wildlife populations in their natural diversity," are home to all of these creatures. But in recent years, state officials have ignored both science and direction from the National Park Service, targeting predators with the vain hope of increasing prey species for subsistence hunters. Studies show that caribou and moose populations are mostly limited by availability of food each year. Yet the state has sanctioned and even utilized extreme means to kill predators on nationally protected wildlife refuges.

These methods include killing mother bears slowed by tiny cubs, and gassing wolf pups and families as they sleep in their dens. They include bear baiting, snares, and traps. Perhaps most controversial of all, they include hunting bears and wolves via relentless pursuit by small aircraft - gunning them down from the skies.

In August of 2016, the federal government finalized a rule to clarify federal protection of predators on Alaska's wildlife refuges, banning these hunting methods. Recently, the new House of Representatives took advantage of an obscure rule that was intended to be an oversight tool, and used it to revoke these protections. If the Senate follows suit, and President Trump signs the revocation, predators will again be vulnerable to extreme hunting by trophy hunters and by the state itself.

These acts are not condoned by scientists or studies. They're rejected by most of the people of Alaska, and even by many hunters. Predators play a vital role in the ecosystem, keeping prey species healthy, concentrating and moving nutrients, and actually changing the landscape by their very presence. In the last and arguably the greatest wilderness left in the United States, apex predators deserve our protection, and our respect.

Tell the leaders of the Senate and President Donald Trump not to allow this travesty to play out on public lands. Tell them to protect the predators of Alaska's wildlife refuges now.

Sign Here

To President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Majority Whip John Cornyn, Minority leader Chuck Schumer, and Minority Whip Dick Durbin:

We, the undersigned, wish to express our urgent concern regarding the passage of H. J. RES. 69, which will revoke predator protections granted in a rule passed regarding Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska.

Alaskan wildlife refuges, like all of the federally protected refuges in this great nation, are maintained with the conservation of species and the ecosystem as the primary goal. Those species very much include apex predators, and with excellent reason.

Apex predators, including grizzly bears, black bears, and wolves, are vital for a healthy and thriving ecosystem. Study after study has shown that their presence improves the health of ungulates like caribou, moose, and wild sheep by culling the old, sick, or weak. They affect the very landscape, changing how prey species move and forage. They concentrate and distribute vital nutrients throughout the ecosystem, helping the very plants the feed prey species. And their predation has less effect on the ungulate population than the far more important availability of plant food.

To sanction and promote extreme hunting methods in these refuges goes against everything they were established for. The rule the House of Representatives would roll back does not pertain to normal hunting of these predators. It addresses shooting mother bears with cubs, gassing wolf families in their dens, using methods that cause prolonged pain like snares and traps, and taking unsportsmanlike advantage of bait stations and airplanes. These methods will not protect wild ungulates that Alaskans rely on, nor are they at all likely to increase the populations or health of these species. Most Alaskans, in addition to biologists and even many hunters, agree that they should not be allowed.

Theodore Roosevelt said, "I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us." Do not roll back these predator protections. Let the grizzlies, the black bears, and the wolves survive in our wildlife refuges, for the generations that come after us to wonder at.

Thank you,

Petition Signatures

Aug 18, 2017 Anna Mai Van
Aug 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 16, 2017 Ann Waldrop
Aug 16, 2017 Elizabeth Frost
Aug 15, 2017 Margaret Iacangelo
Aug 15, 2017 Juliane Rocha
Aug 15, 2017 Jennifer Day
Aug 15, 2017 Julie Reid
Aug 13, 2017 c. martinez
Aug 13, 2017 Patricia McGarry
Aug 13, 2017 Francie Rawl
Aug 12, 2017 Jieun Bak
Aug 12, 2017 Beth Kerchner
Aug 12, 2017 Charlotte Jones
Aug 10, 2017 John Cabala
Aug 10, 2017 Corinne Gaulon
Aug 10, 2017 nerea herrero
Aug 10, 2017 Larry McDaniel
Aug 10, 2017 Sophie Dahavarian
Aug 8, 2017 Jerri Berg
Aug 8, 2017 Inês Correia
Aug 8, 2017 whitney hendrix
Aug 7, 2017 Coralie Benton
Aug 7, 2017 Donna Gilbert
Aug 7, 2017 James Boneberg
Aug 7, 2017 Justine Boneberg
Aug 7, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 6, 2017 Patrick Paine Please do all you can to protect these predators!
Aug 5, 2017 sandra baptistela
Aug 3, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 2, 2017 Robin Topete
Aug 2, 2017 Ornella Micone
Aug 2, 2017 Janice Flood
Aug 2, 2017 Thanassis Tartas
Aug 1, 2017 julio montes
Jul 31, 2017 Andrea Schnitzler
Jul 29, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jul 28, 2017 Ashley Rozanski
Jul 28, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jul 28, 2017 Janina Kowa
Jul 28, 2017 Marcella Fierro
Jul 28, 2017 Julie Brickell
Jul 28, 2017 Ana Guerra
Jul 28, 2017 Carolina Nunes
Jul 28, 2017 O.C. Oliveira
Jul 28, 2017 Lesley Freeman
Jul 28, 2017 Kimberly Carignan
Jul 28, 2017 Jeanne Dutto
Jul 28, 2017 Jean-François Dutto

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