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-Pennsylvania Senator Holds Key Vote to Remove
Federal Rules and Protect Hunting
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With approval by the United States Senate, Congress can block overreaching regulations issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) under the Obama Administration that threaten recreational and subsistence hunting in Alaska, and set a precedent that could impact hunting on all public lands. On February 16, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives approved House Joint Resolution 69, which will nullify the "Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska" approved by FWS on August 5, 2016.--
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This rule, a vast overreach of federal authority, grants federal agencies control over Alaska's national wildlife refuges and preserves, ignoring the authority of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which has managed both state and federal lands since Alaska became a state. Congress promised the citizens of Alaska that they would be treated like other states, allowing them to work through the state fish and game department to manage fish and wildlife, as the other 49 states do. The rule is a threat to hunting in Alaska, and in the future to other states.--
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HJR 69 nullifies the overreaching rule and maintains the precedent that fish and wildlife resources are cooperatively managed by state fish and game agencies, with the exceptions of migratory birds and endangered species. The measure is now in the hands of the U.S. Senate.--
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Alarmingly, the rule is based on a hands-off policy that forbids wildlife management techniques that benefit game species and other wildlife. These techniques, which would be forbidden by the rule, benefit ungulate species (deer, elk, moose, caribou), which are the wildlife species most suitable for food and subsistence hunting.--
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Because most every state has federal lands, the Alaska rule is a future threat to state management authority and hunting for food in all states.--
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Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey holds an important vote, and needs to know that sportsmen support HRJ 69.-Please call Brett Doyle in Senator Toomey’s office at-202-224-4254.-Ask for a YES Vote on HJR 69. Make sure the Senator knows:---
That Congress has passed multiple laws guaranteeing Alaskans the right to manage their own fish and wildlife resources. HJR 69 protects those promises.
That preempting state authority in Alaska, opens the precedent for similar action in other states, especially those with larger federal land holdings.
That sound fish and wildlife management depends on a cohesive management policy between states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Finally, that HJR 69 does not authorize the killing of wolves from the air, poisoning wolf pups or the unrestricted killing of bears in their dens on federal lands.
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I e-mailed Senator Toomey regarding this issue. in that e-mail, i specifically asked for him to vote yes on HJR 69 his response is below:


Thank you for contacting me about hunting practices on federal land. I appreciate hearing from you.
As someone who has supported conservation efforts while serving in the U.S. Senate, I understand your support for policies that protect our environment and vulnerable wildlife. For instance, in December 2014, I backed legislation (P.L. 113-264) to increase financial contributions to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund for land acquisition and wildlife conservation. I will continue to support commonsense policies impacting our natural resources and public lands, as well as encourage federal and state agencies to work together when implementing conservation initiatives.
Administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) were created to conserve vulnerable plants and wildlife for the enjoyment of future generations and promote wildlife-related activities, such as hunting, fishing, and hiking. FWS manages 90 million acres of federal land across the country, of which 77 million acres are in Alaska. Pennsylvania is home to three NWRs, including Cherry Valley NWR and the John Heinz NWR in Philadelphia.
On August 5, 2016, FWS finalized new rules for hunting certain wildlife species in Alaska's NWRs. Specifically, the regulation prohibits individuals from sport hunting bears with traps or snares, killing bear cubs, and taking wolves and coyotes during the hibernation season. The new regulations also update the notification procedures for closing NWR land to public access. Despite having no impact on Pennsylvania, I have instructed my staff to further study this rule.
In response to this rulemaking, on February 7, 2017, a resolution of disapproval (H. J. Res. 69) under the Congressional Review Act was introduced to overturn the FWS rule and prohibit similar rulemakings in the future. The House of Representatives approved this measure by a bipartisan 225-193 vote, and H. J. Res. 69 is now before the Senate for consideration. Please be assured that I will keep your concerns in mind should this proposal come up for a vote in the Senate.
Thank you again for your correspondence. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.

Sincerely,


Pat Toomey
U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania
 
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