Target: Greg Siekaniec, Regional Director for the Alaska Region of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Goal: Prevent the government-sanctioned slaughter of helpless wildlife in national wildlife refuges.
Against all reason and morality, President Trump has overturned a federal rule banning the most violent and inhumane means of wildlife management in 16 national wildlife refuges covering 76 million acres in Alaska. The vast majority of congressional Republicans seem to believe they know more about wildlife management than the professional federal wildlife managers in the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, who have been considering the federal rule for years. This inexcusable line of reasoning must stop before innocent animals are killed when they are most vulnerable.
Under this law, hunters would be legally allowed to cull wildlife populations in national refuges using some of the most heinous means imaginable — shooting wolf pups in their dens, slaughtering hibernating bears, trapping bears in steel-jawed leghold traps and snares, and spotting bears from planes and then landing to shoot them. All this violence would benefit hunting groups, who seek to exterminate the apex predators that eat moose and caribou in Alaska. This line of reasoning, against basic principle of science and humanity, is shameful and abhorrent, and must be stopped at all costs. Today, we ask the head of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to fight the enactment of this law and ensure that this law dies before the wolf pups do.
Dear Mr. Siekaniec,
This week, President Trump signed a law to allow some of the most inhumane means of “intensive management” of wildlife on 76 million acres of national wildlife refuge in Alaska. Against the instruction of professional wildlife managers like yourself, this law sanctions the killing of defenseless predators for the sake of appealing to hunting lobbyists, who wish for wolf pups to be shot in their dens and hibernating bears to be slaughtered. This despicable reasoning is against all scientific and humane rationality, and is made even more cowardly by the feeble claim that this repeal boils down to a state rights issue.
However, because national wildlife refuges are federal land, this argument falls flat, while the truth remains that this legislation is passed at the behest of hunting lobbyist groups like the NRA and the Safari Club. The mission of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is to “conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people,” and this legislation strongly impedes the federal agency’s ability to do its job. This law is inhumane, unscientific, and unconstitutional, and I write to you today in the hopes that you will ensure that the law will not be enforced. In doing so, you will preserve the integrity of federal conservation efforts and protect the lives of the countless wild animals that make our national refuges so magnificent.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Hilary Cooley