Murkowski Stands Up for Sportsmen and Subsistence in Alaska

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, sent a letter to Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), pushing back against a rule proposed by the agency that targets Alaska refuges. In the letter, Murkowski casts doubt on the Service’s claims that the proposed rule won’t affect subsistence activities, explains how the proposed rule would preempt state wildlife management regulations, and shows how it is contrary to the special protections granted to the state in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).

“Chief Justice Roberts made clear in the Sturgeon opinion that Alaska is unique and that federal agencies need to account for that uniqueness when implementing laws like ANILCA. States have the primary authority to manage wildlife and federal agencies must work in consultation with them, not preempt or override their decisions at every turn. The Service’s proposed rule for wildlife refuges ignores states’ rights and should be withdrawn,” Murkowski said. “My letter lays out a number of concerns that I have and that I have heard from Alaskans. I look forward to prompt and detailed responses to these concerns from Director Ashe.”

Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, in February successfully led an Alaska congressional delegation effort to secure extra time for public comments on the Service’s proposed rule. She will continue fighting to protect Alaska’s right to manage wildlife and ensure the ability of all Alaskans to engage in subsistence activities.

Related Issues: Alaska Natives & Rural Alaska