President Donald Trump on Monday signed a bill repealing federal limits on predator hunting on Alaska’s national wildlife refuges. The bill’s House sponsor was Congressman Don Young.
He said the statehood act and other measures make it clear Alaska has the right to manage hunting across the state.
"This was a matter of law," Young said. "It's an encroachment on the state of Alaska."
Opponents, especially the Humane Society of the United States, wanted to prevent certain methods of killing bears and wolves on refuges, such as killing the animals in their dens. The Alaska Board of Game doesn’t usually allow that, but state law gives it the authority to OK it.
Young said the next battle will be getting the feds to respect the repeal.
"I've already heard from Fish and Wildlife. They said, ‘We're not going to change.' Well, we'll see about that," he said.
The National Park Service still has a predator-hunting rule like the one repealed this week that would apply to Alaska’s national preserves. A court challenge is pending.