SCI Sues to Protect Hunting Opportunities in Alaska
WASHINGTON, DC – On January 19, 2017, Safari Club International (SCI) filed a lawsuit against three sets of Obama Administration regulations that prohibit and restrict certain methods and means of hunting on National Wildlife Refuges and National Preserves in Alaska. SCI filed suit in federal district court in the District of Alaska.
SCI’s lawsuit challenges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) and National Park Service’s (NPS) illegal acts in ignoring and overriding the State of Alaska’s authority to manage wildlife and regulate hunting in Alaska. The Complaint documents how the FWS’s regulations pertaining to Alaska National Wildlife Refuges and the NPS’s regulations pertaining to National Preserves conflict with the State of Alaska’s constitutional and statutory obligations to manage the State’s wildlife for sustained yield by Alaska’s hunters. SCI’s lawsuit explains that the FWS’s and NPS’s regulations violate the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.
“SCI has gone to court to prevent the federal government from depriving Alaska’s hunters of healthy wildlife populations to enjoy,” said SCI President Larry Higgins. “The FWS and NPS have issued rules that will enable predator populations to decimate game populations, simply because the Obama Administration decided that it knew better than Alaska how Alaska’s wildlife populations should be managed and how Alaska’s hunters should be allowed to hunt. SCI cannot allow this type of mismanagement and disregard for state authority to stand.”
SCI’s suit follows a similar lawsuit filed by the State of Alaska on January 13, 2017.
This is not the first time that SCI has gone to court to protect Alaska hunting opportunities. In 1999, SCI sued the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Agriculture to challenge the manner in which the Federal Subsistence Board managed subsistence priorities on federal lands in Alaska. SCI also challenged the lack of representation of the nonsubsistence hunting community on Regional Advisory Councils. More recently, SCI participated as an amicus curiae in a case involving the predation of caribou by wolves on Unimak Island.
SCI’s two Alaska state chapters, the Alaska Chapter and the Alaska Kenai Peninsula Chapter, work hard to represent SCI members in Alaska and support the filing of this lawsuit.
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Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit www.safariclub.org or call (202) 543-8733 for more information.