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Hearing on Denali Preserve hunting rule changes set for Thursday

by Lorien Nettleton ~ December 11th, 2012

A hearing on Wednesday night will address the Denali National Preserve’s proposed changes to hunting regulations in the Preserve. According to a Park Service press release:

 The proposed changes would prohibit taking brown bears over bait stations, using artificial light to take black bears at dens, taking black bear cubs and sows with cubs, and would shorten the season for hunting wolves and coyotes.

The proposed restrictions renew a previous temporary prohibition on taking black bears at dens and black bear cubs and sows with cubs.The restrictions also respond to recent changes to State of Alaska hunting regulations. Those changes included allowing the killing of brown bears over bait stations in three game management units, which included portions of three National Preserves. The proposed prohibition reflects the NPS concerns about the dangers of food conditioned bears as well as the potential impact to the natural abundance, behavior, distribution, and ecological integrity of brown bear populations.

The State has also extended the hunting season for wolves and coyotes into the summer in several areas, including nine National Preserves. The NPS is proposing to prohibit the take between May 1 and August 9 because it is the period when wolves and coyotes are denning and raising offspring and their pelts have little trophy or economic value.

The Denali Preserve hearing will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the Murie Science and Learning Center in Denali National Park.

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