Update March 25, 2017: Evidently S.J. Res 18 was passed by the Senate on or before March 21. However, the Congress.gov page for the bill has not been updated since February 01, 2017. I'll keep looking for updates, because I want to know who voted for this nasty piece of legislation.
You can read the statement from International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) here.
The Senate gave final legislative approval Tuesday to a measure that repeals an Obama-era rule on hunting on Alaska's 16 national wildlife refuges. The Fish and Wildlife Service said last year the rule would promote ethical hunting practices while maintaining sustainable populations of bears, wolves and coyotes.
“This isn’t hunting — it’s slaughter,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Killing wolves and bears in this cruel, unsportsmanlike fashion is outrageous, especially in national wildlife refuges that belong to all Americans. Repealing these protections also undermines the critical role predators play in healthy ecosystems.”
“Rolling back protections for predators defies everything wildlife refuges stand for,” said Emily Jeffers, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, in an email. “Refuges are places where we celebrate biological diversity, not where wolves and bears are inhumanely killed for no good reason. It’s an outrage that Congress would revoke rules that stop the senseless slaughter of predators, heedless of the important role these animals play in healthy ecosystems.”
The formal title of the resolution is:
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".
The companion resolution in the Senate, SJ Res 18, sponsored by Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), is not yet scheduled for a vote. It has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Do call your Senators offices and explain why you are opposed to this resolution, especially if one of your senators sins on the committee. You can also consult the Open Letter from 47 conservation and wilderness organizations opposing HJR 69
The Resolution is confusing, but Eric Biber's article at Legal Planet, Public Lands Watch: House Joint Resolution 69, has the best explanation:
The primary feature of the rule at issue was to restrict certain forms of non-subsistence hunting on the 16 National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska, following a recent liberalization in rules by the State Board of Game. The types of practices banned included taking black or brown bear cubs or sows with cubs, taking brown bears over bait, taking bears using traps or snares, taking wolves or coyotes during denning season, and taking bears from an aircraft. Because of its focus on these hunting methods, it is sometimes referred to as the “Fair Chase Rule.”
Supporters of the resolution frame the [Congressional Review Act] disapproval as a means of combatting federal overreach into state lands and authority. Don Young (R-AK), the House sponsor of the resolution, stated “Not only does this action undermine Alaska’s ability to manage fish and wildlife upon refuge lands, it fundamentally destroys a cooperative relationship between Alaska and the federal government.” Alaskan representatives claimed that this rule impeded the state’s Predator Control Program.