Trump and Zinke are pandering to the worst groups in America
In an effort to continue dismantling President Obama’s legacy, the Trump Administration has moved to reverse 2015 federal regulations concerning public lands in Alaska. Specifically, ones that prevent hunters from engaging in acts of animal cruelty.
Under the prior rules, hunting parties were banned from doing the following: murdering hibernating cubs and their mothers, using motorboats to kill caribou in the water, baiting brown bears with junk food like bacon and doughnuts, and using hunting dogs against black bears. These were not only designed to prevent unnecessary cruelty, but also to help conserve the Alaskan wildlife.
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On the flip side, the Trump Administration’s justification for these proposed changes is to match Alaskan state law. Or so they claim. According to a story from The Hill, there could an ulterior reason for the decision, and it comes from the National Rifle Association lobbying Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Zinke has reportedly been meeting with representatives from both them and the Safari Club, the latter of which promotes disgusting big game hunting.
These were far from innocent meetings as they have led to serious policy changes in the past:
“Last fall, on the heels of news that hunting was dropping within the U.S., Zinke announced October would be National Hunting and Fishing Month and installed a “Big Buck hunter” shooting game in the lobby of Interior Department Headquarters.
Since then the administration has come under fire for changing protections to other groups of animals, including a Fish and Wildlife Service decision to allow elephant trophy imports back into the U.S. on a “case by case” basis — a reversal of an Obama-era ban on imports of the animal.”
As Ed Kilgore of the magazine New York points out, none of this should come as a surprise given that Trump’s offspring, Eric and Donald Jr., have both gained notoriety before for going on hunting excursions.
Not only that, but there is clear influence from conservatives in Alaska (the same people who gave us Sarah Palin), with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reportedly being “pleased to see the National Park Service working to better align federal regulations with State of Alaska hunting and trapping regulations.”
What is surprising, though, is that the public actually has a chance to protest this inner decision in the next 60 days by commenting on it. I heavily encourage our readers to do so by going to the following website and submitting a comment for “RIN (1024-AE38)” that includes the word(s) “National Park Service” or “NPS.”
Image from www.DOI.gov/Wikimedia Commons