RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Gentile writes: "The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to legalize the killing of black bear cubs and their mothers at their dens in Alaska's national wildlife refuges."

Black bear cub. (photo: Becky Bohrer/AP)
Black bear cub. (photo: Becky Bohrer/AP)

The NRA Just Persuaded Congress to Legalize the Killing of Bear Cubs in Wildlife Refuges

By Nicole Gentile, ThinkProgress

17 February 17


The House voted to overturn the Obama administration’s ‘Fair Chase’ rule.

he U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to legalize the killing of black bear cubs and their mothers at their dens in Alaska’s national wildlife refuges.

The controversial measure, backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), overturns a ‘Fair Chase’ rule, promulgated by the Obama administration, that also limited baiting, trapping, and the use of airplanes to track and shoot bears and wolves on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands in Alaska.

The vote was met with an outpouring of criticism from wildlife and conservation groups.

“Alaska’s extreme predator control policies lack scientific support, contravene conservation mandates on national wildlife refuges and defy traditional wildlife management principles,” said Jenny Keatinge, federal lands policy analyst with Defenders of Wildlife. “H.J. Res. 69 would cede federal management of iconic wildlife to the state’s misguided program on over 76 million acres of national wildlife refuges that belong to all Americans.”

Safari Club International, a group that has been criticized by both sportsmen and animals rights groups for advocating “canned” or captive hunting and elite trophy hunting, joined the NRA in pushing Congress to overturn the Fair Chase rule. In a letter to House members, the groups claimed the rule preempts the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s authority on national wildlife refuges.

The Obama administration rule Congress is seeking to overturn, however, does not prohibit hunting in wildlife refuges, and allows both subsistence hunting as well as science-based predator control. However, it limits certain practices, such as using rotting meat and pet food to lure bears for an easy kill, which some hunting groups say violates the ethics of fair chase.

A similar controversy arose in Maine in 2014 when a ballot measure would have limited bear baiting in the state. While the ballot measure narrowly lost, hundreds of organizations, businesses, and opinion leaders, including many hunters, spoke out against bear baiting.

“Hounding, baiting, and trapping lack the very skill that draws most hunters to the sport: the challenge of tracking and finding the bear,” Mary Moulton, an avid hunter and supporter of the ballot measure, explained in 2014. “These practices give hunting a bad image by mocking the notion of sportsmanship and fair chase.”

The hunting practices the House voted to legalize on Thursday are considered cruel by many Alaska residents. Recent polling shows that by a two-to-one margin, Alaskans don’t support baiting or trapping in national wildlife refuges.

The National Wildlife Refuge System is the only network of federal lands and waters dedicated to wildlife conservation. The system is made up of 566 national wildlife refuges, including 16 in Alaska.

A companion resolution in the Senate, sponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), has not yet been scheduled for a vote. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+16 # chrisconnolly 2017-02-17 10:43
Aren't we something. Our economy and our democracy are about to collapse and we are wanting to kill baby wildlife. How do these people justify this? Is this so that once things do collapse and we the people find ourselves without food we will be well within legalities to kill every wild thing worth eating. We should look at China after its famine some 45 years ago. Few species survived other than humans.
+5 # Femihumanist 2017-02-17 13:10
[quote name="chrisconn olly"] How do these people justify this? Is this so that once things do collapse and we the people find ourselves without food we will be well within legalities to kill every wild thing worth eating.

No, they can't imagine everything is collapsing. They just need the target practice so they can more efficiently kill Muslims and Latinos (and of course, eventually all the rest of us).
+10 # reiverpacific 2017-02-17 10:55
Bear CUBS???
Is there no depth to which these armed, mindless bullies won't sink to vary their LIVING targets?
Ah fart in their general directions!
+8 # REDPILLED 2017-02-17 11:53
The NRA just LOVES killing.
+6 # pegasus4508 2017-02-17 12:57
Republicans are the most depraved, heartless and soulless creatures to walk the earth. I will not engage with anyone who wants to kill bear CUBS.Hateful bastards must have chewed their way out of their mother's wombs.
+5 # dotlady 2017-02-17 13:15
OK, so we allow the hunters to kill off all the other species, even endangered bears and bear cubs, leaving the planet a dull affair of just humans, who then proceed, if by nothing more than habit, to kill each other. Let's have more guns, yeah. No animals. Cowardly and downright evil.
+5 # WallStWallFlowerGirl 2017-02-17 14:15
"Watch what they're doing, not what they're saying." It's the mantra Rachel Maddow often repeats at the close of her hour on TV.

While this was going on in the House yesterday, T Rump held that news conference and after his delusional rant, it's all anybody was talking about. It is as obvious to me as the 666 tattooed on their hearts that his boys- Bannon, Miller and Kushner- manipulated the American audience to keep the eyes off the ball.

As entertaining as the circus is, we cannot stay distracted by shiny objects. T Rump is more dangerous being the host that spreads the disease- and I'd even say at times without his knowledge- of his nefarious cabal. This is where my focus is.
+6 # Adoregon 2017-02-17 14:24
Support your right to arm bears.
+1 # Femihumanist 2017-02-18 20:40
They must have all been educated by Betsy DeVos. Remember, she wanted to arm school children so they can kill "Grizzlies."
I'm sure, to her, "Grizzlies" must be "black" bears.
+1 # 2017-02-18 21:14
Why would ANYBODY want to kill innocent animals just for the enjoyment of killing?
I wonder how many of those folks consider themselves to be Christians.
+1 # ChrisCurrie 2017-02-19 16:35
So our NRA/Corporately -sponsored-Repu blican-stooges in Congress have gone on record (voted) to literally kill hundreds of Americans by authorizing the sale of guns to certified mentally ill patients, to literally kill tens of thousands of Americans PER YEAR by denying them access to healthcare, to literally kill hundreds of thousands of Americans by authorizing our oil and coal companies to pollute our water supplies and the air we breathe, and to literally kill wolves and bears and their cubs in our nation’s “wild life reserves.” To allege that they are “Satanically inspired” is an understatement! (Matthew 22:37-40)

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.