NSSF Praises Senate Passage of H.J. Res. 69, Rollback of Federal Rule on Alaska’s Wildlife Management
NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industries, today praised the U.S. Senate’s Tuesday night 52-47 passage of H.J. Res 69, overturning what is known as the Alaska Final Rule.
Alaska’s’ sole U.S. Rep. Don Young, a Republican, had earlier introduced the measure in the House where it passed on a 225-193 vote. It now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk for signature.
“This joint resolution is crucial in restoring the cooperative relationship of state wildlife management agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wildlife management has long been entrusted to the states, where they are more able to recognize the impacts of decisions and adjust policies that ensure healthy and sustainable wildlife populations,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “Sportsmen and women applaud both Sen. Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young for their leadership in correcting this error and restoring authority to states to manage wildlife within their own borders.”
The Alaska Final Rule was enacted Sept. 6, 2016 to curb predator hunting within Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuges. The rule, as it currently stands, applies to 16 federal wildlife refuges in Alaska, amounting to 76.8 million acres or 20 percent of the state – roughly equal in size to New Mexico.
An identical resolution was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and now with the consent of both chambers, would overturn what amounts to an Obama administration overreach on hunting. It disapproves the rule that seized authority from Alaska to manage wildlife within the state’s borders. Instead, the rule gave Washington D.C. final authority to manage wildlife, removing the authority of Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game for both non-subsistence and subsistence use.
Both Sen. Sullivan and Rep. Young argued the Washington D.C. final rule on Alaska’s wildlife management violated law. If allowed to stand, the final rule could set precedent that the federal government would have last say over state fish and wildlife agencies, upsetting the successful state-federal relationship in National Wildlife Refuges (NWR).
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.