House passes resolution to overturn Obama regulations on wildlife management

The U.S House of Representatives approved a resolution Thursday to overturn Obama-era regulations on wildlife management.

The resolution, H.J. Res. 69,  passed on a 225 to 193 vote, nullifying an Obama administration rule issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that prohibited Alaska’s Board of Game from using predator control on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska, unless “necessary to meet refuge purposes, federal laws or Service policy, and is based on sound science and in response to a conservation concern.”

Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, hailed the resolution, saying that it “puts an end to the Obama administration’s last minute attack on outdoorsmen.”

Cox continued: “Alaskans know best how to manage their wildlife. By relying on sound science for their unique conservation and management decisions, the proud outdoor heritage of Alaska will be preserved for generations to come.”

The Washington Post reports many environmental activists were outraged, arguing the resolution will allow unfair hunting practices to take bears, wolves and other predators so that other game populations become artificially inflated. The opponents included Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of the Defenders of Wildlife.

“Is running roughshod over public lands and targeting mother bears and wolves and their young on lands specifically set aside as wildlife refuges really a priority for legislators given the many challenges facing our country?” Clark said in a statement.

Alaskan Rep. Don Young, sponsor of the resolution, accused the Obama administration of “governing by interest groups” and argued lawmakers should prioritize the people of Alaska over the concerns of animal welfare groups.

When Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia defended the Obama-era regulation, Young said “I’m speaking for the people of my state, not the people of Virginia.”

The resolution will now head to President Donald Trump’s desk for signature.