ANCHORAGE - The National Park Service wants to ban hunting black bear cubs and sows with cubs in their dens in the Denali and Gates of Arctic preserves.
Spokeswoman Kris Fister told The Anchorage Daily News it's targeting the animals at a time when they have no defenses. And regional Park Service Assistant Director John Quinley said it has unacceptable impacts.
Quinley said the Park Service didn't immediately realize the preserves were included when the state Board of Game approved killing bears in their dens in November 2008. The state approves killing bears because they kill moose.
The park service asked the Board of Game to exempt the preserves, but the board suggested the park service write its own rules.
"The state's got predator control going there because of moose degradation by black bears," said Cliff Judkins of the Board of Game. "We had a report by the biologists out there a few years ago, and the only way to reduce it was to reduce the black bears. The park service has a goal of maintaining biodiversity where they don't allow any manipulation of one species for the benefit of another."
Kristy Tibbles, executive director of the Game Board, said taking bears from dens is a traditional practice.