Don’t Allow Trophy Hunters to Kill Sleeping Wolf Pups and Bear Cubs

Target: Dan Smith, Deputy Director of the National Park Service

Goal: Preserve protections that shield wildlife in Alaska’s national preserves from inhumane killings.

In yet another assault on Alaskan wildlife, the National Park Service has proposed new guidelines that will leave bears and other large wildlife vulnerable to hunters looking for nothing more than a trophy. The dictate, under the guise of aligning federal standards with state standards, gives an additional win to trophy hunters at the expense of wildlife: a long-running and frequent goal of this administration.

This latest affront reverses protections put forth by the Obama administration that banned cruel hunting methods used on federally owned lands. Among the previously restricted and possibly now sanctioned activities are killing young animals such as bear cubs and wolf pups while they sleep in their dens, using food and spotlights to draw out unsuspecting prey, and making use of motorboats in the easy slaughter of marine wildlife. Hunters will now also be allowed to use other animals like dogs as weapons against Alaska’s wildlife.

If enacted, these newly enshrined inhumane standards will leave all wildlife within the 37,000 square miles that comprise Alaska’s national preserves at the mercy of trophy hunters like Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. The Interior Secretary, whose department oversees that National Park Service, recently held meetings with his board of advisers on wildlife conservation…an advisory board that happens to be packed with known big game hunters.

The public, in turn, has roughly 60 days to ‘advise’ the National Park Service on this critical proposed change as well. Sign the petition below to give voice to Alaska’s increasingly under-siege wildlife population.

PETITION LERTER:

Dear Deputy Director Smith,

The National Park Service is entrusted with a sacred duty: preserving the history and the legacy of our nation’s most cherished landmarks and natural wonders. As the person given directorial authority over this agency, you in turn have a responsibility and a high duty that goes beyond politics or affiliations.

Recently, Alaska has become ground zero in a fight for and against America’s wildlife. The proposed eradication of protections for wildlife on federal preserves feels like less of a move to align federal and state guidelines and more of an effort to appease certain powerful trophy hunters. If these new guidelines come to pass, bears, wolves, and so many other living beings ingrained in Alaska’s rich ecological history will fall to the manipulative and cruel tactics of individuals who eradicate them for profit and prestige.

Please prove your skeptics wrong and fight for the lands and the inhabitants you pledged to protect. Do not bargain Alaska’s wildlife to those who do them harm.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Christian Pietzsch

Protect Walruses Foraging in Alaskan Village

Target: Bill Walker, Governor of Alaska

Goal: Encourage protection of walruses foraging in Alaskan village.

Roughly 200 walruses have crowded the beach of a small Alaska village to forage for food. This village seems to be the optimal foraging area for the creatures, who feed on the mollusks living on the nearby ocean. Walruses can spend as many as seven months seeking food, especially the bull walruses who provide for their families.

Since 2017, the walrus has been especially vulnerable due to the Trump administration’s refusal to put them on the endangered list. The species is indeed endangered, with the number of foraging walruses having dropped from 10,000 to as little as 2,000 since the 1980s. Additionally, walruses are very easily scared off by any disturbances; noisy approaches by people can startle them into stampedes that kill other wildlife, and continued disturbances by beachgoers or the noises associated with human activity can drive them away from the area.

We must ensure that these walruses are strongly protected during their stay on this beach, and during any subsequent returns, especially after they have been denied legal protection as an endangered species. Sign this petition to protect the walruses and help grant them an easy time during their forages.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Walker,

A large group of walruses has taken up residence on the beach near Port Heiden, where they will spend the next several months foraging for food. The species has been endangered for years, and is especially vulnerable now due to the Trump administration’s refusal to put them on the endangered list. They lack government protection, and can easily be scared away from their foraging and resting spots by excessive noise and crowds.

You must ensure that these walruses are protected during their stay here, and during any subsequent returns. Their numbers have dropped drastically since the 1980s, and they are in need of extra protection due to being left off the endangered list. Please ensure that the village and surrounding area will accommodate these animals and allow them to forage safely and peacefully.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Joel Garlich Miller

Protect Alaska’s Bears, Wolves, and Other Rare Animals from Slaughter

Target: Greg Sheehan, Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department

Goal: Ensure protection of Alaska’s endangered bears, wolves, and other predators.

Most recently on his laundry list of environmental blunders, President Trump has now overturned a crucial protection rule that was preserving Alaskan wildlife. The Refuge Rule was installed in the state of Alaska to protect animals such as bears and wolves from hunters who sought to control the populations in local areas. Initially the rule was created as a way to provide ecological balance between the caribou and the predators (such as bears and wolves) because of inhumane poaching techniques used by hunters.

The leader of the Humane Society called this move “an outrage for any animal lover in America” and his point is backed up by animal rights activists across the country. The only way to stop this act is to have the U.S. Fish and Wildlife department reinstate the Refuge Rule. Stand with us in demanding U.S. Fish and Wildlife protect endangered species and reinstate the crucial Refuge Rule.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Sheehan,

President Donald J. Trump seems to have a special hatred for the environment and all those who inhabit the land. His policies seem to directly support the belief that he does not care about what happens to any life aside from his. The Refuge Rule overturn is a huge loss for Alaska to take as the state fights to protect its evolving wildlife.

Laws like this may seem small because they are based on one state, but if we allow Alaska to start killing its wildlife, what is to stop other states from following suit? We need to stand up for our endangered wildlife immediately. We demand you do something about this outrageous ban.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Carl Chapman

Stop Allowing Hunters to Gun Down Wolves with Assault Rifles

Target: Bill Walker, Governor of Alaska

Goal: Stop hunters from using assault rifles to kill major predators like wolves by creating a no-kill buffer around Denali National Park.

Wolves are being killed at near record-high numbers in the area around Denali National Park, prompting officials from Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to shorten its annual wolf hunting season. While the DFG claims that the wolf population is not at risk, wildlife experts have expressed concerns about the state’s lax hunting regulations and the fact that these predators are increasingly being gunned down in large numbers by hunters using assault rifles on highly mobile snow machines. They fear it may be only a matter of time before the iconic wolves of Denali are hunted to extinction.

While shortening the wolf hunting season will help prevent more senseless killings, it cannot reverse the damage already done. If the wolves were to go extinct, this would not only be disastrous for the ecosystem– it would likely hurt Alaska’s economy as well. Denali National Park is the state’s biggest tourism draw, with many people visiting simply to get a chance to see the wolves in their natural habitat.

We must protect Alaska’s wolves for the future. Sign this petition to demand a no-kill buffer zone around Denali National Park and a statewide ban on using assault rifles to target major predator species, including wolves.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Walker,

Denali National Park is your state’s largest source of tourism revenue, drawing thousands of wildlife-lovers annually. Many of these visitors come simply to see wolves in their natural habitat, a sight that has vanished in so many other parts of the world. Yet thanks to lax regulations on predator control in Alaska, the wolves may soon disappear from Denali as well.

Large predatory species, such as wolves, play a pivotal role in ecosystems by managing herbivore populations. When they are killed at unsustainable rates, as is happening in the area around Denali and statewide, the entire ecology of the region is negatively impacted. That is why we are urging you to establish a no-kill area around Denali National Park, and to change hunting regulations to prohibit the use of high-powered assault rifles against large predators, including wolves.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: D. Kopshever/National Park Service