U.S. Senator Warns Biden Administration Trying to Kill Hunting in Alaska

U.S. Senator Warns Biden Administration Trying to Kill Hunting in Alaska

In an impromptu appearance at the recent annual meeting of the Alaska Outdoor Council, the state’s official NRA affiliate, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska had strong words for President Joe Biden and his “administration of leftists for targeting Alaska” with a slew of 45 executive orders (EOs) that were meant to undermine Alaskans’ interests—especially hunting.

Sullivan, who serves on four Senate committees vital to Alaska and has a distinguished record of military and national security service, opened his speech saying the Last Frontier State is under assault. He described a tense White House meeting where he showed Biden a map detailing all 45 executive orders and actions that are actively targeting and harming Alaska and her people—from shuttering oil and gas projects that have sent oil and gas prices to record highs nationwide while seeking oil from America’s enemies to EO 13990, implementing environmental policies such as revoking the Keystone Pipeline and temporarily prohibiting drilling in the artic refuge that Biden signed on his very first day in office—which also forced a review of hunting and trapping in the National Preserves Rule. He also called out the attempted ESA listing of the Alexander Archipelago wolf in capitulation to a petition issued by the anti-hunting extremist group Center for Biological Diversity and the Biden administration’s Joint Secretarial Order (SO) 3403, which he explained aimed to usurp state authority on Alaska state lands by pushing a misguided “co-stewardship” policy with federally recognized Indian and Alaska Native tribes.

alaska sen. dan sullivan handout on biden executive orders harming alaska hunting, energy

Describing ongoing conflict between his office and the White House over the recent National Park Service Rule that put onerous restrictions on so-called “sport hunters,” Sullivan said the move flies in the face of traditional Alaskan hunting methods and cited murky and undefined so-called “public safety” concerns as an excuse to end bear-baiting in a wildlife refuge that is as large as many Lower 48 states. This action goes against the Alaska Statehood Compact Act, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), the 2017 Congressional Review Act and the recent Sturgeon v Frost Supreme Court case by attempting to ban trapping by non-rural residents and other predator controls. It also removes protections under these laws and longstanding policies for Alaska’s hunters.

For just one example of his dealings with the Biden administration, Sullivan recalled a conversation where he accused the administration’s Director of the National Park Service, Chuck Sams, of lying to him so he would remove his hold on Sam’s confirmation. Sullivan urged Sams to “work with my Alaskans, who know the issues [facing hunters, anglers and trappers in the Last Frontier better than Washington, D.C., bureaucrats do], and don’t do this top-down, shove it down our throats thing.”

Sullivan then blasted the White House and its staff of prioritizing shutting down hunting rights particularly in Alaska through the aforementioned rule changes and procedural tricks saying, “Joe Biden is targeting and trying to kill hunting in Alaska.”

Sullivan also described tense conversations he has had with some of his Senate counterparts, accusing them of “coming after us [Alaska]” and targeting everything from oil to hunting and fishing rights through targeted petitions such as the one to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf under the ESA. He pondered on the real reason behind it, musing that it was “a very cynical fundraising ploy.”

He then brought up the contentious Willow oil project—the massive oil drilling project on Alaska’s North Slope that has been opposed by the Biden administration’s environmentalists. Sullivan accused Lower 48 extremist groups of touting “seven million petitions signed” and asked rhetorically what they planned to do with all those emails and phone numbers, if not use them for fundraising. He said Alaska is “the perfect fundraising vehicle for Lower 48 interest groups, from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). He explained how these groups raise money from Lower 48 donors by touting the charismatic traits of species like wolves and grizzly bears to suburbanites and city dwellers.

We’ve seen some of this firsthand with PETA petitions going out every day for everything from saving the Kenai Peninsula grizzly bear from supposed near extinction (though there are hundreds of them) to lumping Alaskan gray wolves into the ongoing fight over gray wolves in other states such as Colorado, which is planning to reintroduce them in 2024.

In a call for unity, Sullivan implored hunter-backed wildlife conservation groups and activists present to fight back in unison. He pushed for those in attendance to fight to protect our rights and privileges to hunt in Alaska and beyond, thanking them for “defending values and core principles that almost every Alaskan cares about.”

About the Author
Cody McLaughlin is a conservationist and conservative thought leader on public policy issues including hunting, fishing, gun rights, free-market tax and wage policy and the environment. A GOP consultant, he serves on the board of the Alaska Outdoor Council, the state’s NRA affiliate, and is a former board member and lead spokesman of the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, helping to represent the state’s 1.2 million sportsmen in the political arena.