Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Alaska's Brown Bears
Litigation - Article Series from All-Creatures.org Articles Archive

FROM Project Coyote
November 2020

Judge upholds a rule that established multiple protections for brown bears, including a prohibition on baiting.

Brown Bears

To those who participated in the recent public comment period for the DOI's proposed rule and responded to our call to action, thank you! Your voice matters—wildlife belongs to all citizens and to the wild places we all steward.

A federal court has ruled against allowing the baiting of Alaska’s iconic brown bears in the state’s Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The Court determined that state law, and its more liberal allowances around the killing of bears, should not trump federal management of wildlife on public lands.

This decision is the result of a lawsuit in which our National Coalition co-founders at the Humane Society of the United States and partner organizations intervened in 2017. The final order upholds a rule from the Obama administration that established multiple protections for brown bears, including a prohibition on baiting.

In addition to this court decision, Americans across the country spoke out loudly and clearly against a more recent Department of Interior proposed rule change that would also allow baiting of Alaska’s brown bears. Although this court order does not directly stop the DOI proposed rule to allow baiting, it does support our argument and the Obama-era rulemaking that baiting is not sound wildlife management.

In light of this court decision and the encouraging national election results, we remain hopeful that the incoming administration will not finalize the DOI rule to allow baiting- and will take the necessary steps to reverse the many other harms our wildlife and wildlands have suffered over the last several years. With key appointments to the Department of the Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and other federal agencies, we hope to see conservation-related protections strengthened, resulting in a vibrant and sustainable environment that views and values wildlife and wildlands as critical to a thriving biosphere.

Thank you for all of your support and for speaking out against injustice to our wildlife and wild places! 

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