A controversial hunting law awaits the signature of President Trump after the Senate voted mostly along party lines last week and after clearing the House in February. The Senate voted 52-47 on March 21 to overturn Obama-era hunting restrictions that protected grizzly bears, wolves and other animals on national wildlife refuges in Alaska from baiting, trapping and aerial shooting.
Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, who introduced the resolution, said the Obama-era rules were an overreach of government power. He shared support with other Alaska Republicans on Capitol Hill.
“Not only does this action undermine Alaska’s ability to manage fish and wildlife upon refuge lands, it fundamentally destroys a cooperative relationship between Alaska and the federal government,” Young wrote on his website.
Many animal rights and environmental advocacy groups lamented the passage of the resolution.
The Humane Society described the hunting practices banned by the rules as inhumane and unsporting killing practices… in which no self-respecting sportsman would engage” and declared in a blog post after the resolution was passed, “It’s a sad chapter in our nation’s history of wildlife management, but it’s also a hollow ‘victory’ for self-styled enthusiasts of rolling back bureaucratic red tape.”
Trump is expected to sign the measure, once again thrusting him at the center of a hunting controversy. After announcing his candidacy for president in June 2015, photos of his sons hunting game in Zimbabwe four years earlier resurfaced on the internet. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump posed with wide grins, rifles and their dead game, including a cheetah.