Dunleavy petitions Supreme Court to stop federal government overreach on hunting laws in Alaska

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The State of Alaska filed a petition last week asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Ninth Circuit Court decision that upheld a Department of Interior action that oversteps state laws that pertain to the method and means of hunting on federal refuges.

“The Ninth Circuit brushed over the cooperative nature of ANILCA (Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act) and invited the federal management agencies to preempt state law at their will,” the brief states, in reference to the case of In Safari Club International v. Haaland.

Beginning in 2015, the U.S. Department of Interior issued three regulations preventing brown bear baiting, overriding state-authorized hunting on park preserves and national wildlife refuges.

The State of Alaska and Safari Club International sued. After the lawsuit was filed, Congress invalidated the broadest regulation—the one banning brown bear baiting, among other methods of hunting, statewide in all national wildlife refuges in Alaska.

Contrary to Congress’s action, the Department of Interior continues to ban this method of hunting in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

The lawsuit is about Alaska’s traditional authority, which was granted at statehood, to manage the methods and means of hunting throughout Alaska. 

The petition asserts that, through ANILCA, “Congress did not divest Alaska of its traditional authority. Congress preserved it.” The Ninth Circuit ruling undermines ANILCA, and gives authority to federal agencies to override state law and ignore the will of Alaskans.

“Congress did not intend for federal agencies to have unlimited authority over how we access our wildlife,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy. “We will continue to fight to ensure that Alaskans manage how we use our own resources.”

“Soon after statehood, Alaska implemented a comprehensive management program to ensure we could responsibly manage our resources based on sustained yield principles in a manner that incorporates public interests. Today, the federal government is trying to circumvent our hard-fought statehood rights to manage our resources and replace it with theirs, including a new claim that they have a property right to our fish and game resources. This is federal overreach, unchecked by the Ninth Circuit Court,” said Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang.

“We have State biologists managing wildlife populations at all times,” said Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor. “We manage our wildlife resources responsibly to guarantee future Alaskans can enjoy harvests as well. These Federal regulations wrongfully obstruct Alaska’s right to do so.”

12 COMMENTS

  1. Well how is the fish management going? I don’t want the feds in Alaska but the state has not done a good job just look at the Kenai river.

    • Hey Mark,
      Maybe you don’t remember but I do, back in the middle 60’s ( when their were what 48,000 people in Anchorage?) you were allowed only ONE King Salmon per year on the Deshka. Yeah, seems that the Feds left the State in a pretty deep hole, fish wise. I think that ADF&G has done a pretty good job over the years.

    • Moose population on the Kenai also., we used to count up to 150 moose in the early 70s on grocery runs from Moose Pass to Anchorage. Now the count is 0.
      The state has mismanaged in favor of guides and hunting in general rather than sustained wildlife populations.

  2. King runs are down across the Pacific Northwest. Hard to pin that on the state no matter how hard UCIDA tries.

    • That’s most likely because because our fish are being taken by foreign interests that this administration (federal) has decided to ignore. And they just prefer to call it climate change. So the fish are now involved in politics.

  3. On the subject of courts and judges, this is one of the main reasons we need everyone to vote YES on a Constitutional Convention. Alaskans have very little power in removing activist judges and no idea of the judge they are voting for as far as their judicial philosophy, which should be based in the Constitution, not their party affiliation.

    Alaskans need to know that the judges in power will respect their God given rights under the U.S. Constitution. These rights are yours at birth and no judge can take it away from you without weighing the evidence at hand and ensuring it follows the constitutional smell test. Right now, America has a two-tiered justice system, where the DOJ and FBI are abusing their authority and consistently violating people’s 4th Amendment rights. Please vote yes for a Constitutional Convention! The recent attack on Rep. Eastman by the leftist goons in our state should send chills down your spine.

  4. Given the state’s allegiance to trappers, hunters and guides like those on the board of game and safari club and the dismal record of failed wildlife management (aerial wolf killing in particular), I welcome the feds.

    • You might want to consider moving to California where anti hunting and trapping is widely accepted. Idiots like you have never figured out that the Board of Game is constitutionally mandated to manage wildlife on a sustainable yield basis and set hunting seasons and bag limits. Why on earth wouldn’t you appoint Alaskans who know this best, i.e hunters, trappers, guides. So glad your mentality is the deep minority.

  5. Animals are being over hunted period. And how about torture devices called traps for wild animals. Look at the regs! NO LIMITS! I miss my fox. I miss seeing a coyote out in the fields. And the blood bath every year with sandhill cranes. It’s very disturbing.

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