Kenai Peninsula, AK – Alaska Congressman Don Young today issued the following statement condemning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s final rule regarding wildlife management practices upon federal refuges within the State of Alaska:
“Make no mistake – the size, scope and impact of this rule is enormous,” said Alaska Congressman Don Young. “With over 76.8 million acres of wildlife refuges in Alaska – an area equaling the size of New Mexico – this unilateral power grab fundamentally alters Alaska’s authority to manage wildlife across all areas of our state. Not only does this rule undermine promises made in the Alaska Statehood Compact, it violates the law by ignoring provisions Senator Stevens and I secured within the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) to protect Alaska’s sovereignty and management authority. This newest attempt to exert federal authority over Alaska has not gone unchallenged and I will continue to work every angle in Congress to strike this rule, and a similar proposal by the National Park Service, from the federal register. If this rule is allowed to stand, we could see an opening for future jurisdictional takings by the federal government – transforming a cooperative relationship between Alaska and the Fish and Wildlife Service to one of servitude.”
Congressman Young’s Efforts to Reverse the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Rule:
- February 23, 2016: Young successfully included an amendment within the House-passed H.R. 2406, the Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, to strike the FWS proposed rule.
- May 26, 2016: Young was appointed to serve on the House/Senate Energy Conference Committee following the House-passage of its own version of the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016. This legislation included H.R. 2406, the SHARE Act, and its provisions to overturn the FWS rule.
- July 14, 2016: Congressman Young successfully included an amendment within the House-passed Interior and Environment Appropriation Act, which would prohibit funds from being used to issue, implement or enforce the FWS rule.
Since the FWS rule was announced, Congressman Young and others have argued that it violates the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) – a law which protects the ability of the State of Alaska to manage wildlife across the state, on state, private, and federal lands. The State of Alaska, the Alaska Congressional delegation, and much of the hunting and angling community in Alaska opposes this rulemaking.
*ICYMI: The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Editorial Board recently supported the Alaska Congressional Delegation’s effort to stop the FWS rule from going into effect. Click here to read.
Click here for more information on the finalized rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife.