Alaska'sNational Parks are inviting comment through February 15, 2012, on each park'sannual compendium. The compendium is acompilation of all designations, closures and restrictions imposed underdiscretionary authority within the regulations covering national parks.
Compendiums are a tool to helpmanage Alaska's national parks; as part of the park-related regulations, theyhelp provide for the enjoyment, use and protection of national parks.
At least two changes are proposed asthe result of public comments received during 2011.
At Yukon-Charley Rivers NationalPreserve, compendium provisions requiring bear-resistant food storage areproposed to be relaxed in certain circumstances. Local residents suggested themodifications to accommodate local practices in a manner that also protectswildlife. Among the suggested changesare making the food storage requirements applicable only between April 1 andNovember 14, exempting legally taken fish and associated equipment from foodstorage provisions, and allowing exceptions on a case by case basis inappropriate circumstances.
In three Southwest Alaska nationalpreserves (Lake Clark, Katmai and Aniakchak), the State of Alaska has extendedwolf hunting and trapping seasons to June 30 when wolves are denning andraising vulnerable offspring and their pelts have little to no trophy oreconomic value.
The NPS proposes to prohibit thetake of wolves under the state sport hunting and trapping regulations inAniakchak, Katmai, and Lake Clark national preserves during the time wolves aredenning. This change would align hunting and trapping closure dates with thefederal subsistence hunting seasons, protecting wolves during vulnerabledenning periods and while pelts are of poor quality.
The State of Alaskaís justificationfor the extended season is founded on intensive management predator controlobjectives and creates unacceptable impacts to the preservesí purposes andvalues. State actions that seek to manipulate natural wildlife populations forhuman consumption, or have that practical effect, are inconsistent with NPSstatutes, regulations, and policies and exceed Congressís authorization ofsport hunting in ANILCA.
A copy of eachpark's proposed compendium for the 2012 season is available at http://www.nps.gov/akso/management/proposed_compendiums.cfmas is a link to email comments. A written copy may be requested directly fromthe park or the National Park Service, 240 W. 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501,Attn: Compendium.
Comments willbe accepted by mail or e-mail through February 15. Comments are welcome at anytime in addition to this timeframe, but comments received after February 15will be considered in future compendium revisions.