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President Trump Legalizes Killing Of Hibernating Bear Families

National Park Service
U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill recently that legally allows hunters in Alaska to shoot hibernating bear and wolf families in their dens both at close range and from the air. The bill passed through the House of Representatives and the Senate a few weeks ago, and now becomes law with President Trump’s signature.

The new law overturns Obama-era legislation that protected hibernating bear and wolf families from gruesome hunting tactics, among other frowned-upon hunting methods.

“Under the previous law, hunters were prohibited from aggressive tactics such as shooting or trapping wolves while at their dens with cubs, spotting grizzly bears from aircraft, killing hibernating bears, trapping bears with wire snares and luring bears with food to get a point-blank kill,” according to The Independent.

The law specifically pertains to Alaska, a state that contains 16 U.S. national wildlife refuges that span 76 million acres of land. Alaska is also home to 24 National Parks, including Denali, Glacier Bay, and Gates of the Arctic.

These public land preserves aim to foster safe environments for 15 endangered species, and the parks’ successes have been models for restoring the populations of former endangered species, like the Grizzly Bear. However, the Trump administration’s revocation of Obama-era protection laws could force these recovering species back onto the endangered list.

Supporters of the new law includes the National Rifle Association, a highly influential gun rights lobbying group. The NRA financially supports 54 current U.S. Senators and over 200 members of the House of Representatives, including Alaska’s Rep. Don Young, who authored the original bill.

Opponents of the new law include various animal rights groups, including the Humane Society, who campaigned actively to attempt to convince the President to veto this law reversal.

“What the House did today should shock the conscience of every animal lover in America,” said Wayne Pacelle, chief executive of the Humane Society, after the House of Representatives passed the bill. “If the Senate and President concur, we'll see wolf families killed in their dens [and] bears chased down by planes.”

Now that the President has signed this bill into law, hibernating bear and wolf families in Alaska have much to fear. The state of Alaska is now taking steps at the state government level to block this federal legislation.

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Tom Malone is the Editor-In-Chief of The Adventure Tribune and author of adventure novels, like Across Americana. He is based in Denver, Colorado, where he adventures through the Rocky Mountains while not traveling abroad.
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