PROVIDING FOR CONGRESSIONAL DISAPPROVAL OF FINAL RULE OF DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
(House of Representatives - February 16, 2017)

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[Pages H1259-H1268]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




PROVIDING FOR CONGRESSIONAL DISAPPROVAL OF FINAL RULE OF DEPARTMENT OF 
                              THE INTERIOR

  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 123, I

[[Page H1260]]

call up the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 69) providing for congressional 
disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the 
final rule of the Department of the Interior relating to ``Non-
Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure 
Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska'', and ask for its 
immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the title of the joint resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 123, the joint 
resolution is considered read.
  The text of the joint resolution is as follows:

                              H.J. Res. 69

       Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
     United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress 
     disapproves the rule submitted by the Department of the 
     Interior relating to ``Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and 
     Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National 
     Wildlife Refuges in Alaska'' (81 Fed. Reg. 52247 (August 5, 
     2016)), and such rule shall have no force or effect.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Utah (Mr. Bishop) and the 
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Beyer) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Utah.


                             General Leave

  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous material on H.J. Res. 69.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Utah?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman 
from Alaska (Mr. Young), the only Member of Congress in the House from 
Alaska, the dean of the Republican side.
  (Mr. YOUNG of Alaska asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Utah 
(Mr. Bishop) for bringing this legislation to the floor.
  H.J. Res. 69 is very simple. It overturns an illegal rule by the 
Obama administration--an illegal rule.
  This House created the State of Alaska in 1959, under the Statehood 
Act. It clearly granted Alaska full authority to manage fish and game 
on all lands in the State of Alaska, including all Federal lands.
  The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980 further, 
in fact, verified what the Statehood Act did: protecting the right of 
the State to manage fish and game.
  Mo Udall was chairman of the Interior Committee at that time, and he 
agreed that this was the right thing to do. The thing that we had to do 
was make sure there was no misinterpretation of the Alaska National 
Interest Lands Conservation Act and the Statehood Act.
  What occurred under the Obama administration is that--your 
administration, on that side--in the wee hours of the night, they 
passed a rule that took that away from the State. And it is huge, if 
you think about it: 16 refuges, 76.8 million acres. That is bigger than 
most of the States in this Union. They took the right away from the 
State to manage fish and game.
  There has been a lot of interest groups and some Members of Congress 
that have been conveying falsehoods, flat out dishonesty on what the 
taking back of the management of fish and game will do. They talk about 
killing puppies and grizzly bears. That does not happen, nor, in fact, 
is it legal in the State of Alaska under our management.
  The opposition will claim there was consultation with the State of 
Alaska. If that is the case, why did Alaska file suit to overturn this 
rule? There was no consultation.
  Yesterday, I met with most of the leaders of the Alaskan Native 
community that live in this area in the refuges and around the refuges. 
Not one of them support the rule passed by the Obama administration.
  The other side says they are all for helping the American Indians, 
the first people, yet they are supporting a rule that is illegal. 
Illegal. I want to stress that.
  This rule passed by the Obama administration is opposed by the total 
delegation, the Governor, all the elected officials in the State of 
Alaska, and it is an infringement upon the State of Alaska, and it 
should be an infringement upon your States.
  Maybe we ought to go back to every State in the Union, maybe even 
Virginia, and see how we might change the right of Virginia when the 
Federal lands were involved in the State of Alaska.
  You stood up in front of this body and held your hand and said: I 
swear to uphold the Constitution of America and laws pertaining to it. 
Every one of you took that oath. Every one of you. Yet, you stand on 
this floor, and some of you will say: Oh, we have to protect the wolf 
puppies. That is not what this is about. It is about the law. It is the 
Statehood Act, the right of Alaskans, and the right of Alaska to manage 
all fish and game.
  If you vote against this resolution, you are saying the Congress does 
not count, nor can we keep our word. We will do whatever is popular at 
the time. I say: Shame on you. You said you would uphold the 
Constitution.
  Let's pass this legislation that Mr. Bishop has brought to the floor. 
Let's turn back that illegal law that they are trying to impose upon 
the people of Alaska and the American people. If you don't believe in 
that, then I suggest you resign from the body, because you are not 
upholding the law that you swore you would do.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the Members of this House for their support of 
the legal aspects of the State of Alaska.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair would remind Members to address 
their remarks to the Chair.
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I am dismayed to be part of this discussion of H.J. Res. 
69.
  Day in and day out, we have meaningful debate in committees and the 
House floor that reflect very real philosophical differences about the 
responsibilities and the limits of the Federal Government. These 
differences and world views inevitably reflect differences in values.
  Today, I can't understand how my Republican friends can defend values 
that allow and promote the cruelest possible killing methods.
  Humans have hunted for millennia. This hunting traditionally requires 
patience, skill, cunning and encourage, but not sugar doughnuts, 
helicopters, gasses, or leg traps.
  Today's House joint resolution would overturn this incredibly fair 
and reasonable U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service regulation that would 
rightly prohibit controversial and scientifically justified killing 
methods on 76 million acres of Federal wildlife refuge lands--76 
million acres that belong to the American people.

                              {time}  1245

  The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act and the Alaska 
National Interest Lands Conservation Act authorize--and, in fact, 
require--the Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain the natural 
diversity of refuges in Alaska, regardless of State wildlife laws. This 
includes protecting healthy populations of apex predators like wolves 
and bears.
  So this rule would prohibit the inhumane and indiscriminate killing 
of keystone species in the national wildlife refuges. This does not 
interfere with fair chase hunting methods. It doesn't even prevent 
inhumane and indiscriminate killing on State and private lands.
  Anyone voting to support this Congressional Review Act resolution 
today is tacitly supporting using airplanes and helicopters to scout 
land and shoot grizzly bears, killing wolves, black bears, coyote 
mothers and their pups and cubs in dens, actually gassing them, and the 
trapping of grizzly bears and black bears with steel-jawed leg-hold 
traps and wire snares, where they are trapped, bleeding, frightened, 
slowly dying of thirst and starvation. Statewide polls show that 
Alaskans strongly support eliminating these cruel and unsporting 
practices.
  Alaska also gains over $2 billion in economic activity for wildlife 
viewing, which is five times what it earns from hunting. This makes 
economic sense. It is a huge driver of tourism. Many come to Alaska for 
the unique opportunity to see bears, wolves, and other keystone 
species. They are the very ones at risk if we pass this resolution.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this resolution, to oppose these cruel 
and

[[Page H1261]]

inhumane practices. They are not sporting practices, and they violate 
any understanding of humane values and respect for nature.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman 
from South Carolina (Mr. Duncan).
  Mr. DUNCAN of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for 
his time and his leadership on this issue.
  I come to the floor today as the co-chair of the largest bipartisan 
caucus in the United States Congress: the Congressional Sportsmen's 
Caucus. On behalf of the millions of sportsmen and -women around the 
country, I say to the Federal Government, enough is enough. We will not 
be intimidated; we will not be strong-armed; and we will not be silent.
  States have enjoyed a cooperative relationship with the Federal 
Government for years on wildlife management, and this is a disturbing 
shift that we have seen in the last administration.
  Though I come to the floor today in defense of Alaska's management 
rights of national wildlife refuges, this sets a disturbing precedent 
for the lower 48 States. It is a disturbingly brazen power grab by the 
Federal Government against the law, in spite of loud and widespread 
opposition at the local level.
  The rule removes Alaska's authority to manage fish and wildlife for 
both nonsubsistence and subsistence uses in Federal wildlife. The 
action by the last administration violated the clear letter of the 
Alaska Statehood Act, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation 
Act, and the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act.
  I encourage my colleagues to support what we are doing today and 
stand in support of the good men and women, the outdoorsmen in the 
great State of Alaska. I know you have heard from the gentleman from 
Alaska who has very clearly articulated the position of the people he 
represents in that great State.
  I applaud the chairman. I applaud the action that we are taking 
today. I urge my colleagues to support it.
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Massachusetts (Ms. Tsongas).
  Ms. TSONGAS. Mr. Speaker, for the third week in a row, Republicans 
are back on the floor of the House of Representatives seeking to 
overturn environmental protections for our Nation's deeply valued 
public lands, this time attacking wildlife protections for iconic 
species living in national wildlife refuges in Alaska.
  This is not a new issue for me or my constituents. My late husband, 
Senator Paul Tsongas, helped write the Alaska National Interest Lands 
Conservation Act of 1980. He worked on a bipartisan basis with Senator 
Ted Stevens of Alaska to craft legislation that balanced conservation 
with responsible economic development for Alaskans, including oil 
exploration, mining, timber harvesting, and sport hunting.
  But he also stated on the Senate floor, back in 1980: ``Nature made 
the wilderness and wildlife in Alaska majestic during hundreds of 
thousands of years. Man''--and, I would add, woman--``is challenged 
merely to respect and preserve that natural majesty.''
  He also spoke on the Senate floor about conversations at the dinner 
table with our then 6-year-old daughter, who asked what her father was 
doing to protect endangered species. Well, our daughter has grown now, 
but here we are 37 years later in Congress debating if that bipartisan 
law crafted with my late husband allows hunters to shoot bear cubs and 
wolf pups in their den on a national wildlife refuge.
  My colleagues are correct that ANILCA, as that law is known, and 
other Federal laws give the State of Alaska unique privileges and 
responsibilities to oversee wildlife management on public lands; 
however, this is not a carte blanche. There has never been a right to 
set policies on national wildlife refuges that are inconsistent with 
bedrock environmental laws or ANILCA's mandate to conserve species and 
habitats in their natural diversity on wildlife refuges.
  I fully support the Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to no longer 
turn a blind eye to harmful practices that are detrimental to 
nationally significant species and are not rooted in science-based 
wildlife management practices.
  If my colleagues so desperately want to authorize a right to shoot 
bears from a helicopter in a wildlife refuge, I would be happy to 
recommend some video games. I hear virtual reality headsets these days 
make it just like the real thing. I urge a ``no'' vote on this 
resolution.

  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Arizona (Mr. Grijalva), the ranking member of the Committee on Natural 
Resources.
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Speaker, today House Republicans are taking a short 
break from their crusade to make our air and water dirtier so they can 
now take the time to make it easier to kill bear cubs and wolf pups on 
our national wildlife refuges in Alaska.
  The rule that this resolution seeks to repeal does not infringe upon 
the State of Alaska's bizarre campaign to destroy wildlife populations 
on State lands nor does it prohibit the State from conducting 
scientifically valid predator control measures on refuge lands.
  The massive Federal overreach and trampling of states' rights being 
claimed by the sponsor of this resolution and its supporters is nothing 
more than the latest statement of alternative facts by Republicans here 
in Washington. The truth is both the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Improvement Act and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act 
authorize--and, in fact, require--the Fish and Wildlife Service to 
maintain the natural diversity of refuges in Alaska, regardless of 
State wildlife laws. This includes protecting healthy populations of 
apex predators like wolves and bears.
  Instead, the rule prevents the use of methods that hunters in our own 
country agree violate the ``fair chase'' ethical standard that 
separates sports hunting from pleasure killing. I don't hunt, but no 
hunter that I know would ever think of catching a bear in a steel trap 
or luring it in with bait and then shooting it or blowing away a mother 
wolf and her pups in their den. These are the types of practices this 
rule bans, and it only prohibits them on national wildlife refuge areas 
that are owned and maintained by the American people, not the State of 
Alaska. These tactics are not part of any science-based wildlife 
management strategy, and despite what Trump's new Education Secretary 
might think, these measures are not necessary to protect schoolchildren 
from grizzlies.
  This resolution is just another piece of the Republican agenda to 
hand our public lands over to States and private interests as well as a 
distraction from the things House Republicans aren't doing.
  Where is your infrastructure package?
  Where is your solution to make technical education and college more 
affordable?
  Where is your plan to combat climate change?
  The answer is that they do not exist. So, instead, we are wasting 
time on yet another Congressional Review Act resolution, standing idly 
by without putting people to work fixing our roads, bridges, and energy 
grid; without training Americans to do the job of today's economy, not 
to mention tomorrow's; and without lifting a finger to protect people, 
many of whom are our own constituents, from the worst impacts of global 
warming.
  The only difference between Trump and the House Republicans is that 
he distracts the public to try to move his agenda, and they distract 
the public to hide the fact that they can't move theirs. I urge you to 
stop the distractions and vote ``no'' on this resolution.
  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. McClintock), the chairman of the Subcommittee on 
Federal Lands in our full committee.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, in the dying days of the Obama 
administration, and over vigorous protests by many wildlife and user 
groups, not to mention the State of Alaska itself, the National Fish 
and Wildlife Service imposed the rule that Congressman Young's 
resolution overturns. In violation of the Alaska Statehood Act, the

[[Page H1262]]

Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, and the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, the Fish and Wildlife Service 
removed Alaska's authority to manage the fish and wildlife populations 
within its own borders on 76 million acres. That is a land area larger 
than 45 States.
  As part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 
1980, the State agreed to several national wildlife refuges within its 
borders. In exchange for the Federal Government assuming control of 
these lands, Alaska was given explicit authority to manage its wildlife 
populations. This new agency rule breaks this promise. It begins a 
dangerous process of seizing control of fish and game management 
decisions which have by right, by law, and by custom belonged to the 
States.
  The North American model of wildlife conservation has been a huge 
success and has sustained healthy wildlife populations for many 
generations. Not only is the Fish and Wildlife Service rule illegal, it 
threatens to reverse these successful land management relationships; it 
places severe restrictions on the public's right to hunt and fish on 
these public lands; it interferes with the State's success in managing 
wildlife populations to assure that they don't overrun the ability of 
the land to support them; and it shreds the cooperative relationship 
that Alaska and the Federal Government have enjoyed over these lands 
since Alaskan statehood.
  We have three overarching objectives in the Federal Lands 
Subcommittee: to restore public access to the public lands, to restore 
sound management to the public lands, and to restore the Federal 
Government as a good neighbor to those communities and States impacted 
by the public lands. In adopting this rule, the agency violated all of 
these principles.
  The Federal Lands Subcommittee will spend this Congress working on 
legislation to restore our public lands from the policy of benign 
neglect that has plagued our land management to the point where we are 
losing entire forests in the West and that has strained the 
relationships between our communities and our Federal agencies. The 
resolution sponsored by Congressman Young is an excellent start. I urge 
my colleagues to support this resolution.

  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. DeFazio), the former ranking member of the Committee on 
Natural Resources.
  Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, let's talk about what this rule didn't do.
  First off, ANILCA did not grant the State of Alaska any additional 
authority to manage wildlife on Federal lands. This rule is totally 
compliant with ANILCA. ANILCA actually prioritizes conservation of 
these species we are talking about here today, apex predators, on more 
than half the refuges in the State.
  As required by ANILCA, the rule ensures that national wildlife 
refuges--that is what we are talking about here, wildlife refuges--
conserve species and habitats in their natural diversity. That doesn't 
mean you kill the predators so that people who don't have good hunting 
skills are going to have an easier time getting a caribou or moose. 
That is not what this is supposed to be about on the national wildlife 
refuges. It actually prioritizes conservation of these species.
  I just heard that something about this will severely restrict hunting 
and fishing on these lands. Absolutely not true, unless you say 
shooting wolves and their pups in the den or gassing them in the den is 
hunting--and we are restricting that.
  Bears and cubs would be killed during hibernation, hunters crawling 
around killing bears during hibernation. No, hunters don't do that.
  Brown and black bears would be trapped, snared using steel-jawed 
traps, wire snares--again, not hunters, not sportsmen.
  Luring and baiting grizzly bears? Wow. Now, that is a real 
sportsmanlike hunter with a lot of skills kind of guy or woman who has 
to use bait to kill a grizzly bear.

                              {time}  1300

  Aerial gunning of bears by State agency personnel, that is hunters? 
No, not quite.
  Sportsmen? No, don't think so.
  And using aircraft to track bears and kill in the same day, those are 
the things that would be prohibited. That is what is prohibited.
  Subsistence hunting? Absolutely no impact.
  Fishing? Fish? I guess the fishing thing would be the grizzly bears 
eat the fish, and people who don't have good fishing skills want to 
catch the fish. So if we kill the grizzly bears, they won't eat the 
fish. So it does impact fishing, I guess, sort of, maybe. No, it 
doesn't.
  This is absolutely inhumane, unsportsmanlike, and unnecessary. The 
State of Alaska is doing this just to decrease the natural balance of 
predation, which actually creates healthier herds of caribou and 
healthier moose populations.
  There was a study done in 2015 by professors from both Alaska and 
Washington that showed that actually having these predators present 
increases the health and the diversity of the herds of caribou, because 
the sick and the lame and the old get killed, but the rest of them 
flourish and breed. There would be more than enough still to hunt.
  Yeah, maybe you won't be able to drive your pickup truck, stick your 
rifle out of the away, blast away, and get one. You might actually have 
to get out of the pickup truck. You might actually have to have some 
hunting skills and track a little bit to get the caribou or the moose.
  But if we kill off all of the grizzlies and the wolves, it will be a 
lot easier. They will overpopulate. Actually, what they will do is they 
will start going down at the riparian areas, like happened--it is a 
different ecosystem--in Yellowstone, and then the streams will not be 
as plentiful with fish.
  This is about natural balance, it is about Federal lands, it is about 
sportsmen and women, and it is about prohibiting the State of Alaska 
from using its extreme predator control methods. That is what this is 
called: extreme predator control methods. That is all it prevents.
  This is a very sad day in this House if this resolution passes, and 
it is long-term bad for Alaska.
  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman 
from Arkansas (Mr. Westerman), the vice chairman of the Federal Lands 
Subcommittee.
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of H.J. Res. 69, 
a bill to use the Congressional Review Act to repeal a rule issued by 
the Fish and Wildlife Service to restrict hunting within national 
wildlife refuges in Alaska.
  I would like to commend Congressman Young for his leadership on 
crafting this legislation and for defending his constituents' right to 
manage the wildlife in their home State.
  Mr. Speaker, the assertion that the repeal of this rule would allow 
unethical management and hunting practices is utterly false. Alaskans 
have hunted and managed their land for generations, and this overreach 
by the Fish and Wildlife Service simply impedes their ability to do 
just that.
  Allow me to read from the 2016-2017 Alaska Trapping Regulations, one 
of many sound management documents usurped by this bureaucratic 
overreach:
  ``Wolves and bears are very effective and efficient predators of 
caribou, moose, deer, and other wildlife. In most of Alaska, humans 
also rely on the same species for food. In Alaska's Interior, predators 
kill more than 80 percent of the moose and caribou that die during an 
average year, while humans kill less than 10 percent. In most of the 
state, predation holds prey populations at levels far below what could 
be supported by the habitat in the area. Predation is an important part 
of the ecosystem, and all . . . wolf management programs, including 
control programs, are designed to sustain wolf populations in the 
future.''
  Additionally, the regulations go on to say:
  ``You may not: disturb or destroy beaver houses or any furbearer 
den.'' Such as wolves, coyote, or mink.
  Mr. Speaker, the claim that this bill will allow Alaskans to hunt 
wolves in their dens is simply false rhetoric, designed to mislead the 
public, while bureaucrats take away the rights of Alaskans. The people 
of Alaska rely on these lands to provide for their families, and this 
Fish and Wildlife rule attempts to insert Washington bureaucrats into 
that process.

[[Page H1263]]

  Mr. Speaker, I cringe to think about U.S. Fish and Wildlife usurping 
established law. I cringe to think about U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
legislating themselves more power through the rulemaking process. I 
cringe to think about U.S. Fish and Wildlife expanding the regulations 
in Alaska, and I sure as heck don't want them expanding them in 
Arkansas.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a slippery slope, and I urge my colleagues to 
rescind this overreach and support this resolution.
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, a quick response to the notion that the fears 
of inhumane practices are utterly false. In a Los Angeles Times story 
in 2012, the headline is: ``Alaska officials expand aerial shooting of 
bears.''
  It goes on to say:
  ``The controversial `intensive management' moves are the latest in a 
series of increasingly aggressive control methods targeting bears and 
wolves in Alaska. In some areas, wolf pups can be gassed in their dens, 
bear cubs and sows can be hunted, and wolves shot from helicopters.''
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. 
Polis).
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, we really should be calling this bill the 
``Puppy Killing Act.''
  This resolution would overturn a rule that prohibits some of the 
cruelest hunting practices on Federal lands in Alaska. Now, again, this 
is not on State land. This is on Federal land that Colorado taxpayers 
and taxpayers across the country pay for the maintenance of and 
that we, the people of the country, own.

  The Fish and Wildlife rule prohibits so-called predator control 
activities that Alaska has made legal in State law. As Mr. Huffman 
said, the Alaska Board of Game specifically voted to allow aerial 
gunning and snaring of bears. They have engaged in gassing of wolf pups 
in their dens. These are not theoretical matters. They are actual 
matters as to why this rule is so important and why I oppose it being 
overturned.
  If this bill passes, the activities that are prevented under this 
rule for refuges can actually occur.
  These cruel and inhumane methods that Alaska wishes to implement, 
including killing wolf pups and their mothers at or near their dens, 
killing brown bears with the use of steel-jawed traps, and scouting and 
shooting grizzly bears from planes and helicopters, are not only 
unsportsmanlike, but run counter to the directives of the National 
Wildlife Refuge System and the Alaska National Interest Lands 
Conservation Act.
  Thirty-one scientists submitted their support for the Alaska National 
Refuge Act, noting that the best available science indicates that 
widespread elimination of bears, coyotes, and wolves will quite 
unlikely make ungulate herds magically reappear. So, again, the science 
is clear on this matter.
  There was another study by the 1997 National Academy of Sciences that 
found that Alaska's predator control system, including the assertion of 
killing wolves and bears, somehow makes other wildlife populations 
healthier is simply not supported by sound science.
  This blunt and unscientific and inhumane approach to managing apex 
predators and carnivores employed by the State of Alaska is actually 
counter to the law and the congressional mandate regarding the National 
Wildlife Refuge System.
  The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, which passed 
overwhelmingly in this body, says it requires the Fish and Wildlife 
Service to:

       Conserve Fish and Wildlife populations and their habitats 
     in their natural diversity.

  How does it protect our carnivore species and the species they 
consume in their natural diversity if there is artificial and inhumane 
human intervention to kill puppies and target bears from aircraft?
  It is simply unscientific, inhumane, and wrong.
  In direct contrast to Federal law, Alaska has adopted regulations 
that require the killing of wolves and bears under so-called predation 
control efforts to artificially inflate game populations frequently 
above and beyond the carrying capacity of the land. The State currently 
authorizes extreme practices like aerial shooting of wolves or bears by 
State agency personnel, trapping of wolves by paid contractors, and 
using airplanes to hunt wolves and bears.
  Not only is this bill inhumane and counter to our stewardship of the 
National Wildlife Refuge, but it is also counterproductive for jobs in 
the economy of Alaska. Wildlife watching provides roughly five times 
more the revenue to the Alaskan economy than hunting or trapping. It 
turns out that the American people and tourists around the world would 
rather see these puppies and photograph them rather than shoot them and 
gas them.
  According to the Fish and Wildlife records, wildlife viewing 
activities in Alaska support over $2 billion in economic activity.
  Why is Congress spending time trying to allow puppy killing and cruel 
hunting methods to occur, instead of fair chase methods, especially 
when this actually undermines Alaska's economy and their ecology of 
Federal refuges?
  Why are we repealing this rule when, in fact, most Alaskans support 
it?
  The American people know there are more pressing issues facing the 
country than this rule. I urge Members to join me and vote ``no'' on 
the CRA and protecting puppies.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. BEYER. I yield the gentleman an additional 15 seconds.
  Mr. POLIS. I urge my colleagues to join me in voting with the Alaskan 
people, with the economic interests of Alaska, and with the taxpayers 
of America, who are stewards of this land, for better wildlife 
management practices, to stop killing puppies, and engage in inhumane 
trapping and hunting practices of bears.
  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman 
from Arizona (Mr. Gosar), a member of our committee, who is also going 
to talk about the reality of what we are facing here.
  Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Speaker, on August 5, 2016, the Obama administration 
published another overreaching regulation that threatens the authority 
of States nationwide to manage fish and wildlife.
  Specifically, the new rule undermines Alaska's authority to manage 
fish and wildlife on State, private, and Federal lands. The new 
regulation destroys the cooperative relationship between the State of 
Alaska and the agency that historically worked well.
  This power grab threatens management policies and wildlife refuges 
nationwide and, if allowed to stand, will set a dangerous precedent for 
future top-down mandates from the Federal Government that seize 
authority from States.
  The rule violates the Alaska constitution and two laws that were 
passed by Congress in the form of the Alaska National Interest Lands 
Conservation Act and the Alaska Statehood Act. People throughout the 
country oppose this misguided rule that harms the State of Alaska's 
authority to manage fish and wildlife within its borders.
  In my home State of Arizona, 21 different sportsmen's groups have 
come out publicly against the rule and endorsed Representative Young's 
bill to overturn this Washington power grab. The 21 Arizona sportsmen's 
groups include:
  Anglers United; Arizona Flycasters; Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife 
Conservation; Arizona Antelope Foundation, Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation; 
Arizona Big Game Super Raffle; Arizona Bowhunters Association; 
Arizona Catfish Conservation Association; Arizona Chapter of National 
Wild Turkey Federation; Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited; Arizona 
Deer Association; Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society; Arizona Elk 
Society; Arizona Houndsmen Association; Arizona Outdoor Sports; 
Coconino Sportsmen; Outdoor Experience for All; Shake Rattle and Troll 
Outdoors; the Bass Federation-AZ; Xtreme Predator Callers; and 
1.2.3.Go.

  Representative Don Young's bill is also supported by 27 different 
sportsmen and conservation groups throughout the country. The National 
Rifle Association, who is key voting in support of Representative 
Young's bill, stated:

       The sustainable management of these natural resources needs 
     to be led by the State working in cooperation with the Fish 
     and Wildlife Service. The Fish and Wildlife Service's final 
     rule would set an ill-advised national precedent that could 
     have far-reaching negative implications on the lower 48

[[Page H1264]]

     States. H.J. Res. 69 will restore the jurisdictional State-
     Federal relationship as Congress has previously directed.

  Americans for Prosperity, who is also key voting in support of H.J. 
Res. 69, stated:

       The Interior rule relating to nonsubsistence take of 
     wildlife, and public participation of closure procedures on 
     national wildlife refuges in Alaska undermines the ability of 
     Alaskans to manage fish and wildlife on refuge lands, which 
     make up more than 20 percent of the State.
       Instead, Congress should work with the Trump administration 
     to ensure cooperative Federalism and greater public 
     participation over fish and wildlife management decisions.

  I share these concerns and urge rejection of this Obama power grab 
that undermines Alaska authority to manage fish and wildlife on State, 
private, and Federal lands. I applaud Representative Don Young for his 
excellent work and leadership on this issue. He has been remarkably 
successful over the years of protecting the interests of the people of 
the State of Alaska. This is yet another classic example of the 
bureaucratic overreach that Representative Young is working hard to 
overturn.
  The Alaska Department of Fish and Game knows best how to manage fish 
and wildlife in the State of Alaska, not Washington bureaucrats.
  I urge adoption of Representative Young's commonsense bill.

                              {time}  1315

  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I hope my colleagues and my fellow 
Americans can see what is even greater about this country in its far-
reaching wildlife and open areas.
  I rise in strong opposition to H.J. Res. 69 because I do think it is 
important that we be good custodians of what has been given to us. Yes, 
to protect those humans who have come to be in places where wildlife 
was, but to be good custodians.
  The rule that was adopted years ago after public engagement from many 
different people is reasonable and rational:
  Denning of wolves and their pups, shooting or trapping them while at 
their dens in the spring; using airplanes to scout land and shoot 
grizzly bears; trapping of grizzly bears and black bears with steel-
jawed leghold traps and wire snares--this is what that rule prevents--
luring grizzly bears with rotting meat, sugar, and pet food to get a 
point-blank kill; denning of black bear mothers and cubs during 
hibernation.
  It reminds me of the time that I came to the floor last year to stand 
against a horrible killing of Cecil the lion by someone who wanted a 
trophy.
  So let me tell you about the lesson from Dr. Ed Schmitt, a retired 
surgeon, a hunter, who moved to Alaska from Colorado to fish in the 
river that flowed by his house, to be able to hunt. He enjoyed fishing 
for salmon, casting for salmon, and seeing the brown bears, also known 
as grizzly bears. Here is what he said:
  ``'Most of us that live in Alaska are here because we recognize that 
it has something that the rest of the world doesn't,' says Mr. Schmitt, 
president of the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, which is working with the 
HSUS to protect animals from trophy hunting abuses. `The wildness can 
be destroyed by people. We've stopped seeing the wildlife because we've 
made it go away.'''
  He further said: ``It's not true that all Alaskans are OK with the 
state running rampant on public lands.''
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 1 minute to the 
gentlewoman.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. `` `It's not true that all Alaskans are OK with the 
state running rampant on public lands,' he says. `Only a minority of 
Alaskans are hunters, and even fewer kill animals just for a trophy.' 
''
  This is Dr. Schmitt, a hunter. This is not a tree hugger. He is a 
hunter who moved to this beautiful land that we can call America. So 
many Americans on the mainland, in essence, go to this beautiful, 
connected Alaska, and so Dr. Schmitt goes on to say, like most hunters 
in Alaska, he is appalled at practices that have been raised up to not 
save the beauty of these wild animals. ``'The notion that people don't 
want any rules is a myth. We want good rules, just like everybody 
else.'''
  Well, I want to stand alongside of Dr. Ed Schmitt, a healer, a former 
doctor, a hunter who moved to Alaska, who understands that what we are 
seeking to disapprove is wrong because it was a reasoned response to 
all who were engaged in this area.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to H.J. Res. 69, a 
congressional resolution rescinding a final rule promulgated by the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to prevent widely criminalized, 
cruel, and unsporting hunting methods of killing wolves, grizzly bears, 
and other native mammals on 76 million acres of federal lands in 
Alaska.
  I oppose the disapproval resolution because it subverts the judgment 
of professional wildlife managers, and allows appalling methods of 
killing animals on public lands designated for wildlife.
  The FWS rule does not apply to subsistence hunting or sport hunting 
in general; it simply restricts methods of killing that are not suited 
anywhere, least of all on national wildlife refuges.
  The rule, adopted after years of public engagement and with the 
support of many Alaskans, bans the following practices:
  1. Denning of wolves and their pups--shooting or trapping them while 
at their dens in the spring;
  2. Using airplanes to scout, land and shoot grizzly bears;
  3. Trapping of grizzly bears and black bears with steel-jawed leg 
hold traps and wire snares;
  4. Luring grizzly bears with rotting meat, sugar, and pet food to get 
a point blank kill; and
  5. Denning of black bear mothers and cubs during hibernation.
  H.J. Res. 69, if adopted, would prevent the Administration from ever 
issuing a rule on this topic, foreclosing our Federal wildlife managers 
from regulating these activities in any way under current law.
  The decision to ban these cruel hunting practices came directly from 
professional wildlife managers from the FWS based in Alaska and is 
consistent with science-based wildlife management practices.
  In addition, the FWS statutory mandate requires that the agency 
conserve wildlife species.
  The FWS appealed to the Alaska Board of Game dozens of times to amend 
its rules to ensure that the FWS statutory mandate was being followed.
  The Board of Game's continued refusal to do so forced FWS to initiate 
this rulemaking to ensure that its statutory mandate of conserving 
wildlife species on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska is followed.
  Mr. Speaker, a statewide poll conducted in February 2016 showed 
Alaskans opposed denning of wolves by more than a 2-to-1 margin.
  The poll showed that Alaska voters strongly support eliminating these 
cruel and unsporting methods of killing native carnivores on National 
Wildlife Refuges in their state.
  Additionally, at a series of public meetings on the rule, many 
Alaskans turned out to publicly support the rule because they want 
these inhumane, unsustainable, unsporting practices to end.
  Mr. Speaker, another reason to oppose H.J. Res. 69 is that it would 
damage wildlife tourism and hurt the economy of Alaska.
  These are federal lands, maintained with federal taxpayer dollars, 
and millions of Americans travel to Alaska each year for the unique 
opportunity to see bears, wolves, caribou, lynx, and other species on 
these lands.
  Wildlife watchers contribute over $2 billion to the economy of 
Alaska--five times more than the amount generated in Alaska from 
hunting activity.
  The wildlife within our National Wildlife Refuges is a national 
resource and Americans across the country care about protecting it for 
future generations of Americans.
  For these reasons, I strongly opposed H.J. Res. 69, and urge my 
colleagues to join me.
  I ask my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this disapproval and to support 
and stand with these beautiful animals.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record the article, ``The Fight to 
Protect Alaska's Predators,'' and an article regarding Safari Club.

        [The Humane Society of the United States, Oct. 19, 2016]

                The Fight To Protect Alaska's Predators

                          (By Karen E. Lange)

       Ed Schmitt, a retired surgeon, moved to Alaska to 
     experience the wild. He left Colorado for the Kenai 
     Peninsula, south of Anchorage, where he could fish in a river 
     that flowed right outside his house and hunt, he says, in a 
     way that respects wildlife and the environment. Schmitt 
     enjoyed casting for salmon and seeing brown bears, also known 
     as grizzly bears, fishing nearby.
       He never wanted to kill them. But over 25 years, 
     development and new roads ate away bear habitat. And a 
     different mentality from Schmitt's, one that treats large 
     predators as

[[Page H1265]]

     creatures to be eliminated so populations of moose and 
     caribou can flourish, took its toll on the Kenai's brown 
     bears. Schmitt hasn't seen one in three years.
       ``Most of us that live in Alaska are here because we 
     recognized that it has something that the rest of the world 
     doesn't,'' says Schmitt, president of the Alaska Wildlife 
     Alliance, which is working with The HSUS to protect animals 
     from trophy hunting abuses. ``The wildness can be destroyed 
     by people. We've stopped seeing the wildlife because we've 
     made it go away.'' A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule 
     released in August aims to preserve the state's biodiversity 
     by banning cruel and unsporting hunting methods on the 76 
     million acres of Alaska's federal national wildlife refuges. 
     (Last year, the National Park Service issued a similar rule 
     for the more than 20 million acres of federal preserves 
     within the state). Under the rule, supported by The HSUS and 
     a network of scientists and local advocacy groups, hunters 
     will no longer be able to bait brown bears, trap brown or 
     black bears or use a plane to find bears from the air and 
     then immediately land and shoot them. In addition, trophy 
     hunters will not be allowed to kill black bear mothers and 
     cubs or wolf and coyote mothers and pups in their dens 
     (subsistence hunters are exempt). And ``predator control'' 
     programs, which let hunters kill greater numbers of 
     carnivores in the hope the populations of prey animals such 
     as caribou will increase, won't be permitted in national 
     wildlife refuges.
       ``This is the first time the federal government has stood 
     up to the state of Alaska's brutal practices in 37 years,'' 
     says Wendy Keefover, HSUS native carnivore protection 
     manager, who led meetings on the rule in Anchorage, Juneau 
     and Fairbanks to encourage constituents to speak out.
       An HSUS poll in March showed a majority of Alaskans support 
     these restrictions, and the Fish and Wildlife Service says 
     most people who submitted comments favored the rule. The 
     change came despite well-financed campaigns by the NRA and 
     Safari Club International against it, and the opposition of 
     the hunters, trappers and hunting guides on the state's Board 
     of Game, as well as Alaska's representatives in Congress.
       HSUS Alaska state director Michael Haukedalen says the 
     number of residents who rallied to support the rule shows 
     there's a constituency for reform. ``It's not true that all 
     Alaskans are OK with the state running rampant on public 
     lands,'' he says. ``Only a minority of Alaskans are hunters, 
     and even fewer kill animals just for a trophy.''
       In the 1980s and 1990s, citizen ballot initiatives passed 
     bans on cruel and unsporting hunting practices. However, 
     these were later overridden by the state legislature and 
     governor. In 1994, the legislature enacted a law requiring 
     the state's Department of Fish and Game to practice 
     ``intensive management'' of predators if caribou, moose and 
     deer populations dropped below certain levels.
       For 10 years federal officials tried to negotiate with the 
     Alaska Board of Game to protect wolves and bears from 
     egregious hunting practices, says biologist Francis Mauer, 
     retired from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
       ``It's this ever-increasing fervor to kill predators in 
     Alaska,'' he says. ``The federal agencies realized these 
     hunting practices are inconsistent with the purpose for which 
     the parks and reserves were established, and they had a 
     responsibility to act.''
       The fight against hunting abuses has now shifted to 
     Washington, D.C., where Rep. Don Young (R-AK) got riders into 
     House appropriations and energy bills that would undo both 
     the Fish and Wildlife and National Park Service rules. 
     Similar language was slipped into a Senate appropriations 
     bill. The HSUS and other groups are encouraging Congress to 
     reject these riders before sending the bills to the 
     president.
       Schmitt says he, like most hunters in Alaska, is appalled 
     by the practices the Fish and Wildlife Service has banned. 
     ``The notion that people don't want any rules is a myth. We 
     want good rules, just like everybody else.''
                                  ____


                    [From the Clarion, Feb. 9, 2017]

    Safari Club Sues Over National Park, Wildlife Refuge Regulations

                          (By Elizabeth Earl)

       The Safari Club International has filed a lawsuit against 
     the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Fish and Wildlife 
     Service and the National Park Service over its hunting rules 
     on federal lands in Alaska.
       The nonprofit, one of the largest hunting advocacy 
     organizations in the country, is challenging a set of rules 
     the three organizations enacted in 2016 to restrict hunting 
     and trapping practices on national preserves and on national 
     wildlife refuges in the state, specifically on the Kenai 
     National Wildlife Refuge. The rules conflict with the state's 
     ability to manage wildlife and interfere with Alaskans' 
     ability to hunt and trap, among other impacts, according to 
     the lawsuit filed Jan. 19 in U.S. District Court for Alaska.
       The federal government owns more than half of Alaska, 
     managed by a smattering of different federal agencies. The 
     U.S. Department of the Interior manages national wildlife 
     refuges through the Fish and Wildlife Service and national 
     parks and preserves through the National Park Service. Taken 
     together, NPS manages about 54 million acres of the state, 
     and Fish and Wildlife manages about 76.7 million acres.
       Specifically, the lawsuit takes issue with a rule that bans 
     predator control activities on national wildlife refuges 
     ``unless based on sound science and in response to a 
     conservation concern or is necessary to meet refuge purposes, 
     federal laws or (Fish and Wildlife Service) policy,'' 
     according to an Aug. 3, 2016 press release about the rule.
       The National Park Service's rule, which was finalized Oct. 
     23, 2015, prohibits the taking of brown bears over bait and 
     the take of wolves and coyotes between May 1 and Aug. 9, 
     which is designated as denning season, and eliminating the 
     ``temporary'' closure category for national preserves in 
     Alaska, which previously expired after 12 months. The lawsuit 
     claims these closures allow Alaska personnel ``unlimited 
     discretion'' to close areas to sport hunting without 
     providing rulemaking notice or public comment opportunities.
       The lawsuit also claims the consequences of the National 
     Park Service's actions extend beyond its boundaries because 
     the predators and prey do not remain within the boundaries of 
     the national preserves.
       ``The NPS exceeded its statutory authority in promulgating 
     the NPS Regulations, as the regulations illegally override 
     the State's authority to regulate the methods and means of 
     taking Alaska's wildlife,'' the lawsuit states.
       The complaint against Fish and Wildlife's general rule 
     prohibiting predator control activities on Alaska national 
     wildlife refuges is for similar reasons. On the Kenai 
     National Wildlife Refuge specifically, which covers a broad 
     swath of the Kenai Peninsula between the Russian River and 
     the community of Sterling and stretches down toward the Fox 
     River Flats on the southern peninsula, the lawsuit objects to 
     the public use restrictions that prohibit some plane and 
     motorboat use and lynx, coyote and wolf hunting within the 
     Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area and prohibit bear baiting for 
     brown bears, require a permit for baiting black bears and 
     prohibit using a dog to hunt big game except for black bears, 
     with a special use permit, among other rules.
       The lawsuit claims that neither the National Park Service 
     nor Fish and Wildlife completed the proper National 
     Environmental Protection Act processes for their regulations.
       The lawsuit asks for the court to declare all the 
     regulations as invalid and enjoin the agencies from enacting 
     the regulations.
       The suit was filed less than a week after the State of 
     Alaska filed its own lawsuit against the same rules. The 
     state's suit claims very similar grievances against the 
     rules, saying it breaches the state's ability to manage its 
     wildlife effectively, according to a news release from Gov. 
     Bill Walker's website.
       The Safari Club International supports the state's lawsuit 
     but chose to file its own anyway, said Safari Club 
     International President Larry Higgins in a statement. The 
     Safari Club's lawsuit focuses more specifically on the rights 
     of nonsubsistence users than the state's lawsuit and contains 
     complaints specific to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge 
     rules, which the state's lawsuit does not, he said.
       ``Safari Club concluded it was necessary to file its own 
     lawsuit to represent and protect fully the interests of its 
     members and others who hunt in Alaska for subsistence and/or 
     for nonsubsistence purposes,'' he said. ``Both lawsuits 
     challenge regulations adopted by the Obama Administration 
     that prohibit certain hunting methods on National Preserves 
     and National Wildlife Refuges.''
       The main issue the group has with the rules is state 
     wildlife management, said Eddie Grasser, the vice president 
     of the Safari Club's Alaska chapter. All successful wildlife 
     management in the U.S. is based on state management, he said.
       ``The main emphasis for our part, anyway, is the issue of 
     state management,'' he said. ``We don't feel the federal 
     government has the authority to manage wildlife because of 
     the way the system has evolved over time.''
       Higgins said in his statement that the club will support 
     the state's legal efforts as well.
       ``To the extent possible, Safari Club will work 
     cooperatively with the State, and others who may decide to 
     challenge the regulations, to present the best arguments to 
     the court,'' he said.
       The National Park Service had no comment on the Safari 
     Club's lawsuit and the Fish and Wildlife Service did not 
     respond to a request for comment Thursday.

  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Georgia 
(Mr. Austin Scott).
  Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, the assertion that removing 
this rule would allow for egregious, cruel, and unsporting hunting 
methods is just totally false. The people of Alaska, I trust them to 
manage the game of that State. The idea, the accusation that this rule 
allows for shooting of wolf pups in their den is totally false. 
Disturbing wolf dens for any reason--hunting, trapping, or for wildlife 
management--is illegal in the State of Alaska.
  The 2016-2017 Alaska Trapping Regulations state:

       The following methods are illegal for taking furbearers: 
     You may not disturb or destroy beaver houses or any furbearer 
     den.

  Again, the people of Alaska can be trusted to manage their game.

[[Page H1266]]

  Additionally, the claim that removing this rule would allow for the 
use of airplanes or helicopters to hunt is totally false. Using 
aircraft is illegal in the State of Alaska. The 2016-2017 Alaska 
Hunting Regulations state:

       You may not take game by driving, herding, harassing, or 
     molesting game with any motorized vehicle such as an 
     aircraft, airboat, snow machine, motorboat, et cetera.

  Finally, the claim that removing this rule would allow for trapping 
of grizzly bears and black bears with steel-jawed leghold traps, again, 
simply totally false. Trapping or snaring big game is illegal in the 
State of Alaska.
  The 2016-2017 Alaska Hunting Regulations state:

       You may not take game by using a trap or a snare to take 
     big game, fur animals, or small game.

  As you can see, these claims are nothing but false rhetoric from 
antisportsmen that think they know better how to manage Alaska's 
wildlife than the good people of Alaska do. Alaska law already 
precludes these practices, yet they are being used as an emotional 
argument to hide what is clearly a bureaucratic overreach which 
unfairly targets the citizens of Alaska.
  Mr. BEYER. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer).
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Madam Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman's courtesy 
and I appreciate his leadership on this.
  I just heard my friend talk about these imaginary practices. If they 
are, in fact, imaginary, what is the problem in terms of having Fish 
and Wildlife moving to bring hunting standards in Federal lands in 
Alaska more in line with standards for other Federal lands across 
America?
  The fact is that these practices can, in fact, occur, and it is the 
judgment of the professionals in this field that developed this 
proposal for the Fish and Wildlife Service. These are the people who 
are charged with understanding the dynamics, who understand the 
interaction, based on sound science going forward. The majority of 
people in Alaska do not support such practices. These are basically the 
rules that the rest of America deals with in terms of our wildlife 
refuges.
  I spent a lot of time working in the area of animal welfare. It is 
something that I find is one of those rare areas in Congress where 
there is far more agreement than disagreement. We find, across the 
country, 25,000 organizations that are dedicated to animal welfare. 
This is an area that I am sad to see we are breaking down now with, I 
think, unnecessary controversy.
  Being able to deal with wildlife management and protection, being 
able to deal with humane hunting practices, to be able to allow the 
professionals in the Fish and Wildlife Service and elsewhere to be able 
to help in developing uniform standards is something that should not be 
unnecessarily divisive. I am hopeful that we give the Fish and Wildlife 
Service the authority and responsibility to manage these refuges and 
that we respect the fact that they took public input into account; they 
weighed the comments; they put forward a thoughtful rule.
  Being able to nullify this rule entirely, return to some of the most 
inhumane practices, is simply inappropriate. Instead of rolling back 
these rules, we should respect the agency's expertise, the wishes of 
the vast majority of the people we represent, and uniform provisions to 
apply to all wildlife refuges.
  I am really disappointed that the rhetoric reaches this level and 
that we are rushing ahead with making changes like this without 
providing the foundation that would normally occur in the legislative 
process. This rule is a culmination of a great deal of time and energy, 
public input, scientific expertise, and hard work. To overturn it 
summarily, as this Congress has been doing in other areas, I think is a 
step backwards. It is something that is not supported by the public, 
and I think it is something that we ought to strongly reject.
  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BEYER. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Speaker, one quick point is that these national wildlife 
refuges are U.S. public lands paid for by U.S. taxpayers and should be 
managed for the benefit of all. So let me quote former Fish and 
Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, recently departed, who said these 
``are not game farms managed for a slice of their diversity for the 
benefit of a few people who would call themselves hunters.''
  Much has been made in this debate this afternoon, Madam Speaker, 
about whether ANILCA prohibits this Fish and Wildlife rule. We have 
gone back and forth with different cases. Let me just quote a few key 
paragraphs.
  Section 302 and 303 of ANILCA establishes 16 national wildlife 
refuges, and for each one, the purpose is stated for which the refuge 
is to be established and shall be managed, including: ``to conserve 
fish and wildlife populations in their natural diversity.''
  The law doesn't say wildlife should be managed in some alternate 
state of unnatural diversity where no wolves, no bears, and 
overpopulated moose herds can destroy the landscape.
  Both the ANILCA, and the Improvement Act, the 1998 law that 
reorganized the National Wildlife Refuge System, managed Alaska's 
Federal refuge managers to conserve natural diversity, a value that the 
Fish and Wildlife Services correctly noted is incompatible with 
indiscriminate predator culls.
  Every Federal court to consider the question, including the Ninth 
Circuit, which contains Alaska, has held the States lack the authority 
to overrule Fish and Wildlife Service management decisions concerning 
Federal refuge management. So this has already been before the courts. 
The courts, I believe, have already decided.
  Madam Speaker, in the few minutes I have left, let me just quote a 
few of the letters we received from Alaska residents in opposition to 
the resolution before us.
  Elizabeth Figus, from Juneau, writes: ``I am an Alaskan. I hunt and 
fish, and I support regulations that prohibit cruel killing. This rule 
would rightly prohibit controversial and scientifically unjustified 
killing methods on over 76 million acres of Federal lands in Alaska.
  ``A hunter who cannot comply with humane methods of the trade/sport 
is simply lazy and undeserving of the right to harvest the flesh of 
another living thing.
  ``This is the 21st century, not the 1800s. We must carry out our 
hunting in a careful and organized fashion to ensure the safety of 
Alaskan residents as well as the sustainability of the wild animal 
resources into the future.''
  This from Elisabeth Moorehead from Eagle River: ``My husband and I 
owned and operated a successful wildlife tourism business in Alaska for 
27 years. The business still continues in the capable hands of one of 
our guides. . . . I am writing to convey my displeasure over the 
content of the joint resolution you recently introduced in response to 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulations that ban cruel and 
unsporting methods of killing bears, wolves and coyotes on Federal 
wildlife refuges in Alaska.''
  And from Fran Mauer in Fairbanks: ``Over the last 15 years I have 
watched the state hunting regulations for wolves and bears get 
progressively more extreme. These methods go far beyond any common 
sense, are not supported by science, and have no place in our Alaskan 
National Wildlife Refuges. This is the result of the special interest 
lobby of extreme pro-hunting groups. . . . I for one, and many other 
Alaskan hunters, do not want to see the State of Alaska turn our 
National Wildlife Refuges into game farms.''
  And, finally, from Jeff Fair from Palmer: ``I write you as a 23-year 
Alaskan wildlife biologist . . . Currently 64 years of age, I hunt and 
fish and enjoy a permanent license to do so in The Great Land.
  ``As a biologist, I recognize that predator control does not work in 
the long run to stabilize or maximize cervid populations. I also 
recognize that an attempt to repeal U.S. Fish and Wildlife regs on 
these lands would be an attempt to circumvent, contradict, overturn, or 
simply break the Federal law that establishes the Fish and Wildlife 
Service's mission and authority for these lands. And as a hunter I fear 
for the reputation of the hunting tradition, including conservation and 
fair-chase, when some service anti-predator techniques are allowed 
anywhere, including on federal lands.''
  Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1330

  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman

[[Page H1267]]

from Alaska (Mr. Young), the one who actually lives there and knows the 
area and knows the names of the towns.
  Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. Madam Speaker, under the decorum of the House, I 
won't call it bull. I will just say it is a lot of misinformation and 
outright story tales, the information conveyed to these gentlemen and 
the ladies from The Humane Society. That is what it is.
  There is no sport hunter who is going to be shooting cubs and sows. 
In fact, there is no one in the State who does not support my 
resolution of organized hunters, viewers. I have not had any of that.
  Yes, you got some letters. And I believe the best way to judge is, if 
they don't like what I am doing, don't elect me. I am speaking for the 
people from my State, not Virginia, not a used car salesman. I am 
speaking for my people.
  The second false claim is it allows aerial shooting and gunning of 
bears. That is not what this is about. It is about the law, and we will 
win it in court. But I don't want to win it in court. I want to 
establish the fact that an agency does not have the right to break the 
law.
  As far as Dan Ashe goes, well, did he have any specialists? No. He 
did this because of interest groups, governing by interest groups, not 
the hunters, not the Alaskans, not the gunmen of Alaska, but The Humane 
Society that put out all of this propaganda.
  Denning of wolves--and, by the way, I have to remind people. We used 
to den wolves. I have done it myself. I got paid 50 bucks for every 
wolf I got. You know who paid me? Uncle Sam did when we were a 
territory. And when we became a State, we did not allow that.
  So let us do our job as a State, instead of having this Congress try 
to stop it with an agency.
  So I am asking my colleagues to vote for the law, as you should 
uphold as you took your oath for this office, the law.
  And if you continue this misinformation, I feel sorry for you, and I 
feel sorry for the interest groups.
  So, Madam Speaker, I do urge a ``yes'' vote on this resolution.


 =========================== NOTE =========================== 

  
  February 16, 2017, on page H1267, the following appeared: So, 
Madam Chairman, I do urge a
  
  The online version has been corrected to read: So, Madam 
Speaker, I do urge a


 ========================= END NOTE ========================= 

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Wagner). The gentleman is reminded to 
address the Chair.
  Mr. BEYER. Madam Speaker, just in mild response, I am, I believe, 
heartened to know--that may be the wrong verb--but, at least, respect 
my friend and colleague from Alaska's notion or assertion that these 
terrible, inhumane hunting practices, which we have talked about for 
the last hour--whether it is gassing wolves in the den or shooting 
bears from the helicopter or using bait for the bears or many of the 
iron leg traps--that all these things do not occur in Alaska on the 
wildlife refuges; that they are illegal in Alaska. If that is so, that 
is an excellent thing.
  I wonder why the need for the Congressional Review Act resolution to 
overturn the Fish and Wildlife regulations if none of these are, in 
fact, happening.
  In any case, there is still a legitimate debate about whether the 
Fish and Wildlife regulation contravenes ANILCA and the state 
establishment act. Hopefully, this doesn't have to go to court in order 
to do that, but I think there seems to be enough judicial precedent 
that if it did go to court, the Fish and Wildlife regulations would be 
upheld.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my 
time.
  Madam Speaker, we are here to repeal a rule issued by the Federal 
Fish and Wildlife Service to restrict hunting on the national wildlife 
refuges in Alaska.
  This rule is a solution. The only problem is no one knows for what it 
is a solution because there is no problem. And the sad part is that 
means that this rule is basically a useless rule. It has no efficacy to 
it. Despite the assertions that had been made repeatedly and a 
cacophony of all sorts of practices that are seeming to be wrong and 
bad, this rule doesn't do that.
  This rule does not abandon any of the practices you are talking about 
on subsistence hunting, only on nonsubsistence hunting, which simply 
means that, if you are classified as a subsistence hunter, anything 
that the other side talked about and raled about is actually allowed by 
the silly rule. That is why the rule makes no sense.
  The State of Alaska had it under control, and there is no real 
problem that is solved by this rule that is totally inefficient, but 
did make something nice about it.
  Now, it makes things worse because it is talking about predator 
control only on nonsubsistence hunting. Unfortunately, the predators 
don't know, when they go after their prey, whether that prey is 
designed for a subsistence hunter or a recreation hunter. They haven't 
learned to distinguish that yet.
  Ergo, how you administer this law is totally ineffective. It is 
impossible to do so, and what you do is simply make a blanket approach 
so that everyone gets harmed in the same equal fashion. That is what 
Fish and Wildlife has decided to do.
  In addition to that, yes, it is illegal. It usurps State authority, 
and it usurps it very clearly. You know, it is amazing to me. I cannot 
believe that in the first Congress that we had, the Founding Fathers 
were there coming up with the Bill of Rights and the 10th Amendment, 
they thought the 10th Amendment would eventually some day be imagined 
by a bureaucrat in Washington to overrule Congress on matters that were 
clearly intended for State discretion, but that is precisely what we 
have done here.
  This rule violates three congressionally passed statutes that have 
precedence on this particular issue. And this rule violates Federal law 
passed by Congress on three separate occasions.
  What was supposed to be envisioned with this system was a cooperative 
relationship between the State and the Federal Government. What this 
rule simply does is allow for Fish and Wildlife on the Federal level to 
have supremacy, to destroy that cooperation and coordination and take 
over control totally. That is wrong. It should never be there.

  There are 16 different refuges up there. That is 76 million acres of 
land now going to be controlled by the Fish and Wildlife system here in 
Washington. That is more acreage than 46 of the 50 States that we have. 
And, once again, for many of those people, this hunting is a source of 
subsistence up there.
  Here is the bottom line: Mr. Blumenauer came up here and said, why 
don't we let the professionals make their decisions. They do. Those 
professionals are the Alaska Department of Fish and Game who know 
exactly what they are doing, they know the area, and they know the 
animals.
  The so-called helicopter hunting that was raled against up here is 
not done by any recreational hunter. Alaska doesn't allow that. The 
Alaska Fish and Game will do that for management control based on 
scientific purposes and reasons and that only.
  This rule doesn't change any of that. No. I'm sorry, this rule 
actually doesn't change any of the recreational hunting, which is 
already outlawed by the State of Alaska. It only stops the Fish and 
Wildlife system of Alaska from simply doing their job as they know how 
to do it.
  I include in the Record a letter supported by 27 different 
organizations all dealing with outdoor life in support of this 
particular resolution.
                                                 February 6, 2017.
     Hon. Paul D. Ryan, Speaker, House of Representatives
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Kevin McCarthy, Majority Leader, House of 
       Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Speaker Ryan and Leader McCarthy: We write 
     representing organizations that collectively include millions 
     of wildlife conservationists, hunter conservationists, 
     wildlife enthusiasts, and wildlife scientists, in strong 
     support of H.J. Res. 49 from Cong. Young (AK), which would 
     nullify the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) final rule 
     ``Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation 
     and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in 
     Alaska'' (81 Fed. Reg. 52248 (August 5, 2016)). Our community 
     exhausted all Executive Branch appeals and remedies urging 
     the FWS to slow down the Proposed Rule, and revise it to 
     reflect a proposal mutually agreed to by the State of Alaska 
     and the FWS; all to no end. It is time for Congress to 
     nullify this final rule.
       This final rule boldly preempts the authority of the Alaska 
     Department of Fish and Game to manage wildlife for both 
     recreational and subsistence hunting on NWRs, which authority 
     of the state is affirmed by Congress in the Alaska Statehood 
     Act, the Alaska National Interests Land Conservation Act, and 
     the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act. The FWS 
     final rule was premised on meeting as a priority the FWS 
     policy on Biological Integrity, Diversity and Environmental 
     Health; which

[[Page H1268]]

     would inadvisably set a precedent nationally. Many members of 
     our organizations enjoy Alaska's bounty of fish and wildlife 
     resources and their habitats for unrivaled hunting, fishing 
     and outdoor experiences. The sustainable management of these 
     natural resources needs to be led by the State working in 
     cooperation with the FWS. We urge that you favorably consider 
     H.J. Res. 49 which will restore the jurisdictional state-
     federal relationship as Congress has previously directed.
       Thank you very much for your consideration of our concerns 
     about this harmful and illegal rule which if left un-
     remedied, significantly affects the use and appreciation of 
     the magnificent natural resources found in Alaska.
           Sincerely,
       Archery Trade Association, Association of Fish and Wildlife 
     Agencies, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, Council to 
     Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports, Dallas Safari Club, 
     Delta Waterfowl Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Houston Safari 
     Club, Masters of Foxhounds Association, Mule Deer Foundation, 
     National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports 
     Foundation, National Trappers Association, National Wild 
     Turkey Federation, Orion the Hunter's Institute.
       Pheasants Forever, Professional Outfitters and Guides, 
     Quail Forever, Quality Deer Management Association, Ruffed 
     Grouse Society, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Safari Club 
     International, Sportsmen's Alliance, Whitetails Unlimited, 
     Wild Sheep Foundation, Wildlife Forever, Wildlife Management 
     Institute.

  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Madam Speaker, this comes from groups all over 
the Nation who understand what is going on and also realize the problem 
of this--I mean, there are some people who might think this only deals 
with Alaska. Technically, it does.
  The problem is, if this happens to Alaska, if the ability of the 
Federal Government to supersede the State happens in Alaska, this could 
also happen to anyone of the lower 48 States.
  We are simply one lawsuit away from Fish and Wildlife Service being 
either allowed or required to order similar regulations for everything 
across the lower 48 States as well. And that is what is so difficult 
and impossible to understand.
  Look, let me try and sum it up this way: None of the practices that 
have been railed about today actually are existing, and any of those 
that are are easily controlled by the Alaska Department of Fish and 
Game.
  The underlying premise, both of the rule that the Fish and Wildlife 
Service of the Department of the Interior did and the underlying 
premise of most of the debate that has happened here on the floor, is 
that only somebody who lives here in Washington has the intelligence, 
the foresight, the vision to make these kind of rules that 
unfortunately people in Alaska are simply too dumb to do it. You are a 
bunch of redneck hicks that don't understand how to rule yourself. You 
don't understand science. You barely have television.
  I don't know what it is, but why do we have this mindset that only 
Washington can make these decisions when actually the States have 
proven, not only that are they capable, they are superior to what 
happens from this Department here in Washington.
  That is what this is about, an illegal rule that simply takes away 
from the States what they are doing and what they are doing well; and 
that is why this should be opposed. That is why this rule should be 
pulled away. This midnight rule, once again, should be taken back.
  Allow them to start over and do something intelligently. At least, 
recognize the professionals--the real professionals who work in the 
States to make this system work. They can do it. They have done it. 
Allow them to do their jobs, and protect the rest of us from any judge 
saying, oh, if it happened in Alaska, maybe it can happen in your State 
as well. That is the fear.
  This is a rule passed by Fish and Wildlife at the last minute of the 
Obama administration that doesn't solve anything and will be impossible 
to administer. It violates everything that has gone on before.
  Vote for this rule. Bring back sanity and allow the States to do 
their job as they are supposed to do and as the law prescribes for them 
to do.
  I urge support of this. I don't know if you are undecided on whether 
I was for this resolution or not. Just, for the record, yes, I support 
this resolution.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 123, the previous question is ordered on 
the joint resolution.
  The question is on engrossment and third reading of the joint 
resolution.
  The joint resolution was ordered to be engrossed and read a third 
time, and was read the third time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on passage of the joint 
resolution.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.

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