The Obama administration is banning sport hunting of bears and wolves on federal lands in Alaska's outback in an effort to stop what it calls the unethical practices of the state's game board, practices that former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has touted.

The Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday approved the regulations that ban hunting in Alaska's national wildlife refuges without express permission from Washington and without proving it would serve a vital role in the conservation of the species.

"In the name of hunters and hunting, [the Alaska Board of Game] have approved shooting of brown and grizzly bears over bait; shooting mother bears with cubs, and even the cubs themselves; targeting bears and wolves from planes; and killing wolves and wolf pups in their dens," said Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe in a blog post.

The practices he is referring to are those that Palin, a former Alaska governor, has touted in support of maintaining the caribou and moose herds that rural Alaskans depend on as a food source. She was criticized by conservation groups and Democrats for supporting the hunting and shooting of wolves from helicopters.

"This is not sportsmanship," Ashe said. "It is purportedly aimed at increasing populations of caribou and moose but defies modern science of predator-prey relationships. And finally, it is inconsistent with the laws guiding management of our National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska."

He added that the practices are "wholly at odds with America's long tradition of ethical, sportsmanlike, fair-chase hunting, in something they call 'intensive predator management.'"

The regulations come in response to what Ashe called a persistent movement in the nation to give states ultimate authority over federal lands, alluding to a clause in the Republican Party's national platform that was approved in Cleveland last month.

"Special interest groups are quietly working at the federal and state level to lay the groundwork for federally managed lands to be handed over wholesale to state or even private ownership," he said. "Others have sought to erode federal management authority piecemeal, dealing death by a thousand cuts.

"Unfortunately, without the protections of federal law and the public engagement it ensures, this heritage is incredibly vulnerable," he said.

Responses to "Obama bans sport hunting of wolves from helicopters"

  1. At last, something good!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hallelujah. Ditto: at last, something good.

  3. Anonymous says:


  4. Unknown says:

    thank you

  5. Dear President Obama
    Considering what has transpired in the past centuries, this decision is epic and I thank you for your insight. The state of Alaska has no excuse for this type of behavior ~~~ our wildlife and the land in which they live is sacred to the American people. Let's just say, the animals and the ones who cherish them, appreciate your attention. Deirdre

  6. Unknown says:

    Finally. Recognition that the wildlife are crucial members of the ecosystem--to the benefit of all. Even humans.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Excellent news! Now let's get busy in Idaho.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Quite killing animals and focus on the floods and your people that voted your sorry ass into office

  9. SLKite says:

    It was wonderful news until everyone realized that crappy House of Representative Don Young, Alaskan Republican, had introduced a rider to the Interiors Bill for 2016-2017 that will NULLIFY this ruling by the USFWS...and the Interiors Bill, HAS ALREADY PASSED the House, and is going to be voted on by the Senate in the near future; there are several other horrible riders to the bill that other Republicans have attached that were also passed - and virtually EVERY Republican in the House voted for passage of the bill - so, folks, unless you want to see the end of all wolves in the United States, you need to reach out IMMEDIATELY to your Senators and tell them you are AGAINST passage of the Interiors Bill, as long as it contains all the riders destructive to our wildlife...

  10. I Will Take the Positive Direction of this Victory For Alaskan Wolves as a Glimpse of Things to come Here in the Lower 48 states..
    especially since,Washington State and Idaho and Oregon have all Used Helicopters to Kill Wildlife Including Gray wolves Without Considering the ethical or moral Quicksand that These Agencies would face for going to war so to speak with Natures guardian of Sustainability as We the People Watch in Disgust and Confusion at the Ignorance which Claims to manage Through murder....

  11. Anonymous says:

    at last - thank-you to Dan Ashe - the caribou and moose are fair game if you ask me - how dare anyone think they have the right to discriminate by species

  12. Unknown says:


  13. Thank you for taking action.
    Predators need protection from spirt hunters, who take much more game than they need.Prada tires are needed to control prey animals, as is intended in nature.
    The haters of wolves, need to be made accountable for actions, like poaching, senseless killings of mothers,and pups in thier dens.

  14. Unknown says:

    Thank you for protecting our wolves! :)

  15. Vmh says:

    Hunting anything but a T-Rex from a helicopter is not sport. Having the best equipment that a rich guy can buy does not make him a hunter. Local governments permitting such activities for profit are corrupt.

  16. Unknown says:

    KUDO'S OBama you ROCK..

  17. Anonymous says:

    I guess pressure proved too much and the American public is finally waking up. Kudos to Pres Obama = at least he's shown heart towards the Endangered Species. Time for the big game hunter to be bought down a few pegs. They make me sick.

  18. djh says:

    Thank-you for standing up and doing the right and moral thing!Just because they have been doing things that way,does not make it right.Game hunters stink as human beings!

  19. Unknown says:

    Thank you..finally, what a cruel and senseless act. I wish you could ban it everywhere. You cannot get ride our country's biggest predator and expect mother nature to survive in it's nature state without devastating consequences. Deborah Mahon, Michigan

  20. Unless one is hunting to feed themselves it is not a sport. Neither is fishing.

  21. Unknown says:

    Restoring the natural self-regulating schema can only be the right action. I pray this continues, despite who is politically powerful.

  22. Unknown says:

    Finally! I can't believe it took so long to stop these despicable acts. I can't believe that these animals are killed so the hunters have more game to kill. These animals need the prey to survive. Whomever agreed to the killing of these animals purely for the intent of increasing the herds for hunters has got to have mental health issues. It defies logic.

  23. I am so proud. Thank You Obama!

  24. Peggy Rambo says:

    A wonderful gesture to correct a Palin mistake. Now, If shooting from helicopters can only be stopped in all the other states. Please!!!

  25. Lindalegs says:

    So glad the President has done this in time, before the election. I hate to think what Chump's sons would do, if this is still legal!

  26. Judy Merrick says:

    At last Ashe has said something that makes sense! He needs to include our wild horses in the lower 48 in the statement against turning our wildlife management over to states and/or private management.

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