March 24, 2017
The Association is very pleased with the favorable legislative conclusion through Tuesday night’s 52-47 passage of HJ Res 69, which nullifies the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) final rule on “Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska” (81 Fed. Reg.52248, April 5, 2016). The Association sincerely appreciates the leadership of Alaska’s Congressional Delegation, Congressman Don Young, Senator Dan Sullivan, and Senator Lisa Murkowski, in shepherding this Resolution of Disapproval.
The state fish and wildlife agencies and the Association have a long history of cooperation with the USFWS that has resulted in many conservation successes. Resorting to a Congressional Resolution of Disapproval to resolve disagreement is not our preferred way of doing business. But in this case, it was necessary and appropriate. The Association had serious reservations about the impact of this Rule to the jurisdictional authority of fish and wildlife management by the Alaska Fish and Game Department, in particular, and to that of other state agencies over time as expressed in formal testimony before Senator Sullivan’s Sub-Committee in 2016. The Association looks forward to a renewed, cooperative working relationship with the USFWS that respects authorities and delivers conservation successes on the ground for our citizens moving forward.