NRA-backed bill would dictate National Park Service hunting rules

A pair of grizzly bear cubs play in Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, in Port Alsworth, Alaska, in 2016. Congress is considering legislation that would allow hunting of bears in their dens, including cubs, in Alaska’s national preserves, by prohibiting the National Parks Service from restricting such practices. Solent News/REX/Shutterstock AP

WASHINGTON — The National Park Service has several big problems with NRA-backed legislation that would restrict the agency from regulating hunting and fishing within park boundaries. But according to a leaked memo obtained by McClatchy, the Trump administration has so far prevented the parks from voicing such concerns.

National Park Service Acting Director Michael Reynolds prepared a June 30 memo detailing his agency’s objections to the draft legislation, the “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act.”

Under the bill, the National Park Service would be prevented from regulating the hunting of bears and wolves in Alaska wildlife preserves, including the practice of killing bear cubs in their dens. It also would be prevented from regulating commercial and recreational fishing within park boundaries and from commenting on development projects outside park boundaries that could affect the parks.

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