Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Service Extends Comment Period on Proposed Rule to Amend Alaska National Wildlife Refuge Regulations

February 25, 2016


Andrea Medeiros


In response to multiple requests, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is extending the comment period on the proposed rule for non-subsistence take of predators for 30 additionaldays. The comment period now ends on April 7, 2016.

The draft rule clarifies that predator control is not allowed on Refuges in Alaska unless it is determined to be necessary to meet refuge purposes, federal laws, or policy and is consistent with agency mandates to manage for natural and biological diversity, biological integrity, and environmental health. The proposed rule would also prohibit certain methods and means for  nonsubsistence take of predators on refuges in Alaska and update the procedures for closing an area or restricting an activity on refuges in Alaska.

Consistent with existing law and agency policy, sport and subsistence hunting remain priority public uses on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service strongly supports sustainable harvest of fish and wildlife, including predators, on refuges in Alaska. Under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, all refuges in Alaska are mandated to provide the opportunity for continued subsistence use by rural Alaska residents, in a manner consistent with the conservation of natural diversity. These proposed regulatory changes will not change Federal subsistence regulations (36 CFR 242 and 50 CFR 100) or restrict taking of fish or wildlife under Federal subsistence regulations.

This proposed rule and draft Environmental Assessment have been published in the federal register and can be found at by searching for FWS–R7–NWRS–2014–0005, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. The draft Environmental Assessment analyzes the effects of the proposed rule on refuges in Alaska. Feedback from interested stakeholders and the public at large is encouraged. You can submit written comments to:
o Electronically at by searching the docket number, and clicking “Comment Now!”
o Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R7–NWRS–2014–0005; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs; U.S. Fishand Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be holding public open houses and hearings across the state on the proposed rule. In addition to mailing and submitting comments on-line, the public can comment on the proposed rule at any of the hearings. Telephone access will be provided. For a schedule of events and to find more information on the proposed rule, visit:

Additional information on this proposed rule can be found at:

For more information about Alaska National Wildlife Refuges, visit

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

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