HJR 50: Urging the United States Congress to reject S. 1535 and H.R. 3381, the Protect America's Wildlife Act of 2009, which seek to limit aerial hunting of wildlife.
00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 50 01 Urging the United States Congress to reject S. 1535 and H.R. 3381, the Protect 02 America's Wildlife Act of 2009, which seek to limit aerial hunting of wildlife. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS United States Senators Dianne Feinstein and Benjamin Cardin have 05 introduced S. 1535 and United States Representative George Miller has introduced H.R. 3381, 06 the Protect America's Wildlife Act of 2009, which would amend the Airborne Hunting Act of 07 1971; and 08 WHEREAS, by restricting the practice of using aircraft to manage predator 09 populations to employees of federal and state wildlife agencies, S. 1535 and H.R. 3381 would 10 inhibit the ability of sovereign states to use civilians in agency efforts to manage predator 11 populations using aircraft; and 12 WHEREAS S. 1535 and H.R. 3381 target Alaska's predator control program and, 13 specifically, the use of aerial predator control teams to manage wolf populations; and 14 WHEREAS all forms of aerial hunting are already expressly forbidden in the state, 15 unless they are under the direct control of the Department of Fish and Game for predator 16 control; and
01 WHEREAS art. VIII, Constitution of the State of Alaska, requires that the state's fish 02 and wildlife resources be managed for the benefit of all Alaskans on a sustained-yield basis; 03 and 04 WHEREAS supporters of S. 1535 and H.R. 3381 misrepresent the scope of Alaska's 05 predator control program by characterizing it as a blanket statewide endeavor and using 06 emotionally charged words such as "slaughter" and graphic photos to falsely portray a wildlife 07 management practice that is beneficial to the overall long-term survival of both predator and 08 prey; and 09 WHEREAS, under the intensive management provisions of AS 16.05.255, the Board 10 of Game and Department of Fish and Game are required to set prey population targets and 11 harvest objectives, primarily for moose and caribou in areas where human consumption is 12 considered to be the highest priority; and 13 WHEREAS the state's intensive management law is based on peer-reviewed scientific 14 evidence and undergoes a public review period; and 15 WHEREAS, contrary to accusations made by outside groups such as Friends of 16 Animals and Defenders of Wildlife that the state's predator control program serves the selfish 17 interests of big game hunters, hunters harvest only four to five percent of the total moose and 18 caribou that die each year, while wolf and bear predation accounts for 70 to 80 percent of 19 caribou deaths; and 20 WHEREAS active wolf and bear-intensive management currently occurs on less than 21 10 percent of the state's total land mass; and 22 WHEREAS the killing of moose and caribou calves by bears and wolves threatens the 23 long-term stability of moose and caribou populations; and 24 WHEREAS many Alaska families in both rural and urban communities rely on 25 healthy populations of moose and caribou for their nutritional needs; and 26 WHEREAS an ongoing aerial intensive wolf control program has successfully 27 increased the survival rate of southern Alaska Peninsula caribou herd calves from less than 28 one percent to 40 percent and, as a result, has increased the herd's overall numbers from a low 29 of 500 to an average of 700 to 750; and 30 WHEREAS other western states, such as Wyoming, successfully use aerial predator 31 control practices to maintain sustainable numbers of coyotes, and ranchers in Texas employ
01 the use of helicopters and professional hunters to reduce the number of wild hogs, which 02 cause millions of dollars of crop damage annually; and 03 WHEREAS S. 1535 and H.R. 3381 would not directly preempt Alaska's current wolf 04 control program but would do so indirectly by driving up the cost of the program; and 05 WHEREAS S. 1535 and H.R. 3381 would ban or make prohibitively expensive a 06 proven form of intensive wildlife management; and 07 WHEREAS S. 1535 and H.R. 3381 are indirect efforts by antihunting organizations 08 and legislators to end America's rich hunting tradition; and 09 WHEREAS the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution reserves to the 10 states the powers that are not delegated to the United States nor prohibited by it to the states; 11 and 12 WHEREAS decisions on how and when to use intensive and cost-effective wildlife 13 management practices are best determined by individual states rather than the federal 14 government; 15 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature strongly opposes S. 1535 and 16 H.R. 3381, the Protect America's Wildlife Act of 2009, and urges the United States Congress 17 to reject S. 1535 and H.R. 3381. 18 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Barbara Boxer, Chair, U.S. 19 Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; the Honorable James M. Inhofe, 20 Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; the Honorable 21 Nick J. Rahall II, Chair, U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources; the Honorable Doc 22 Hastings, Ranking Member, U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources; and the Honorable 23 Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Mark Begich, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don 24 Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.