Murkowski Protects Alaskans from Overreaching Hunting and Fishing Regulations

Interior Bill Provides Increased State Control over Land Management

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Chairman of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) unveiled legislation with provisions to halt the implementation of multiple proposed federal rules, one of which would close areas for hunting and fishing, impeding on the State of Alaska’s right to manage wildlife within the borders of the State.

“This proposed rule is incredibly unsettling to the people of Alaska, as it contains provisions that would close areas currently open to hunting and fishing. It is in direct contradiction to the process and promises laid out within ANILCA, which gives the State of Alaska the authority to manage our preserves, refuges, and parks. This is just another example of the federal government imposing on our state sovereignty, ignoring the promises made at statehood, and I will not stand for it.”

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Rule

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposed rule would preempt the State of Alaska’s long-standing authority to manage fish and wildlife on all Alaska lands, including national wildlife refuges, and restrict the state’s ability to ensure harvestable surplus for Alaska’s hunters, fishermen, and subsistence community. The rule is contrary to the special protections granted to the state in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). Senator Murkowski’s prohibition on federal funding for this rule preserves Alaska’s primary jurisdiction over wildlife management. U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) has previously passed an amendment through the Environment and Public Works Committee to prohibit the implementation of this rule, and Congressman Don Young (R-AK) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

Lead Bullets and Fishing Tackle

The Interior bill also draws on Senator Murkowski’s work from last year, and continues to prohibit the EPA from regulating lead content of ammunition and fishing tackle.

The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee controls funding levels for federal agencies and departments such as the Department of the Interior (DOI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Forest Service (FS), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and Indian Health Service (IHS). Murkowski, as Chairman, is able to write the Senate’s annual appropriations bill for the Subcommittee.

Related Issues: Alaska Natives & Rural Alaska, Second Amendment