SCI Sues to Protect Hunting Opportunities in Alaska

Safari Club International logo of a lion and shield

Although it is not always at the top of the news feed, Safari Club International (SCI) is a staunch defender of our hunting and shooting rights—both domestically and on an international scale. Here is a release regarding its latest effort here at home. WASHINGTON, DC – On January 19, 2017, Safari Club International (SCI) filed a lawsuit against three sets of Obama Administration regulations that prohibit and restrict certain methods and means of hunting on National Wildlife Refuges and National Preserves in Alaska. SCI filed suit in federal district court in the District of Alaska.

Safari Club International logo of a lion and shield SCI’s lawsuit challenges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) and National Park Service’s (NPS) illegal acts in ignoring and overriding the State of Alaska’s authority to manage wildlife and regulate hunting in Alaska. The Complaint documents how the FWS’s regulations pertaining to Alaska National Wildlife Refuges and the NPS’s regulations pertaining to National Preserves conflict with the State of Alaska’s constitutional and statutory obligations to manage the State’s wildlife for sustained yield by Alaska’s hunters. SCI’s lawsuit explains that the FWS’s and NPS’s regulations violate the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.

“SCI has gone to court to prevent the federal government from depriving Alaska’s hunters of healthy wildlife populations to enjoy,” said SCI President Larry Higgins. “The FWS and NPS have issued rules that will enable predator populations to decimate game populations, simply because the Obama Administration decided that it knew better than Alaska how Alaska’s wildlife populations should be managed and how Alaska’s hunters should be allowed to hunt. SCI cannot allow this type of mismanagement and disregard for state authority to stand.” SCI’s suit follows a similar lawsuit filed by the State of Alaska on January 13, 2017.

This is not the first time that SCI has gone to court to protect Alaska hunting opportunities. In 1999, SCI sued the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Agriculture to challenge the manner in which the Federal Subsistence Board managed subsistence priorities on federal lands in Alaska. SCI also challenged the lack of representation of the nonsubsistence hunting community on Regional Advisory Councils. More recently, SCI participated as an amicus curiae in a case involving the predation of caribou by wolves on Unimak Island.

SCI’s two Alaska state chapters, the Alaska Chapter and the Alaska Kenai Peninsula Chapter, work hard to represent SCI members in Alaska and support the filing of this lawsuit.

Are you a member of SCI? What other actions has SCI taken to secure your hunting and shooting heritage? Share your answers in the comment section.

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Comments (7)

  1. it is not just the wealthy who pay big $ to be able to hunt with this group, and other guided hunts, many a working stiff saves or borrows in order to get certain game.
    A well guided hunt into remote areas has more certainty of finding quality animals.
    In lower states pressure upon game by over sale of permits,revenue is more important than reality, and the chancrs plus cost of scouting,a-holes who do not hunt but kill from 600+yards, and loss of access to corporate lands, make those guided trips, even if close to home a real pain in the nether body parts.
    As to who now owns the lands, those who art part of all fedral state , city, or counts bureaucracy do.

  2. Given the nature of the comments, I’m starting to wonder if the prior administration’s regulation was a result of ignorance rather than malice as it’s starting to seem like there aren’t’ many that fully understand the nature of the National Wildlife Refuges. Not going to claim I do either, but it was easy enough verify that not all land that is designated as part of the “National” Wildlife Refuge system is owned by the US government ….and lands in Alaska aren’t covered under all the same legislative acts as those in the lower 48….

  3. Jim, I hate to differ with you but, federal land is actually unconstitutional, there is absolutely no were in the Constitution that allows for the federal government to own any land, period. The taking of federal land began when teddy Roosevelt decide to set land aside for national parks. Even if the Constitution allowed for the federal government to own land, the land would belong to everyone and we all would be allowed, without restrictions for the use of the land. As it is now, property owned by the people can not even step foot on the land, all because some unelected bureaucrat says so. It is time “We the People” take back our government and our land. J

    Jim just because that unelected person makes up a rule does not make it constitutional or right.

    1. Well technically the Louisiana Purchase and Gadsden Purchase and the annexation of American Indian lands were uncontitutional. That pretty much leaves the original 13 colonies. If you want to make that constitutional argument than you better move east.

  4. Alaska many years ago seeded to the US Gov multi millions of its then State territory and got in return a guarantee by that gov certain mobetary and promise of even more by futurre Mineral and oil revenues. In other words they sold all of AlSk’s Sovereign rights to those lands.
    Alaska direct revenues from its resident who are not native treaty , even with oil revenue cannot support itself and instead is a heavily Federaly susidize state. QUITE POSSIBLY THE HIGHTEST PER CAPITA IN TBE NATION.
    Almost every office of the Executive branch from Dept of Ed to Agriculture and military has heavy employyee numbers with subsuquentially higher pay than in other lower states.
    They sceeded away any self governing in lrder to recieve those Departments, so for all practicle purposes they have no right to bitch.

  5. I’ve been a hunter and staunch supporter of the Second Amendment all of my life. That said, I cannot say this for sure, but I believe that a National Forest or National Park are both considered Federal Lands and therefore do not come under State regulation. I think that the SCI and the State of Alaska are fighting this in court because the SCI will lose hunting privileges and the State of Alaska will lose funds obtained from licenses and other patronage.

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