Protect Alaska's Wildlife
VIDEO: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich delivers speech on the Senate floor condemning vote to allow unethical hunting of wolves and bears in National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska, March 21, 2017.
Earlier this month, when Republicans in Congress voted to put a federal stamp of approval on unethical and unscientific wildlife management methods, I went to the Senate floor to speak out in opposition. Instead of making extreme predator eradication measures on Alaska's 16 National Wildlife Refuges legal, Republicans and President Trump should be focused on tackling the issues that really matter to everyday Americans, like creating jobs, making the economy work for everyone, improving health care and education, and strengthening our national security.
In the past decade and a half, under the leadership of governors like Sarah Palin, the Alaska State Board of Game and the Department of Fish and Game turned their backs on a long history of embracing ethics as central to wildlife management by adopting a politically-driven and unscientific regime of "intensive predator control." Shooting mother grizzlies with cubs, aerial gunning of wolves, and killing wolf pups in their dens are practices that have no place in 21st century, scientific wildlife management plans.
This would be bad enough if it were only happening on state lands in Alaska. But the Alaska Game Board has also sought to suppress healthy predator populations on our National Wildlife Refuges--the very places set aside to protect and preserve all our native wildlife, including bears and wolves. Because of Republicans' legislation, they are now able to continue with these unethical practices.
As a proud hunter who is teaching my two sons how to hunt and fish on public lands in New Mexico, I strongly believe that sportsmen can and should play a central role in conserving our nation's wildlife and natural resources for future generations. I will continue to stand up for common-sense, science-based management of our nation's wildlife and public lands.
United States Senator