Governor Parnell Objects to Irresponsible Federal Wildlife Legislation
September 22, 2009, ANCHORAGE, Alaska - In a letter today to members of Congress, Governor Sean Parnell expressed strong opposition to federal legislation designed to eliminate predator control programs that protect valuable wildlife populations in Alaska and other states.
"Predator control is about putting food in Alaskans' freezers," Governor Parnell said. "Our programs are scientifically defensible, are used only when absolutely necessary, and have resulted in increased moose and caribou populations. This legislation is an intrusion on states' sovereign authority to manage wildlife, and I urge our delegation and other members of Congress to oppose it."
Current federal law allows state employees or licensed individuals to shoot from aircraft to protect prey. Recently introduced legislation would ban airborne predator control unless a biological emergency is imminent and all hunting and harvest has been eliminated.
"Requiring a biological emergency to be imminent before aerial predator control action can be taken would be irresponsible, violate wildlife management principles and jeopardize our ability to maintain healthy, sustainable predator and prey populations," said Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Denby Lloyd.
Governor Parnell's letter to Congress outlined his objections to the legislation:
- This unwarranted intrusion into Alaska public policy interferes with effective management programs that have proven results in healthy, sustainable wildlife populations;
- The bill unnecessarily threatens our ability to guarantee subsistence and personal uses of fish and wildlife, which are fundamental to the economic and cultural well-being of rural and urban Alaskans, including Alaska Natives; and
- The bill threatens the constitutionally guaranteed sovereignty of the State of Alaska and all states to manage wildlife.