A proposed rule to revise Kenai National Wildlife Refuge public use regulations was withdrawn by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday.
According to a release from the service, the proposal — first issued in 2020 — would have allowed the harvest of brown bears over bait, removed a permit requirement for trapping, allowed for the firing of guns along the Kenai and Russian rivers and increased access for a variety of equipment, including bicycles, snowmachines and ATVs.
The text of the proposal, available at regulations.gov, says the goal was to make the regulations and policies fall in line with state regulations and improve consistency between regulations on federal and state land.
The release says that the service received around 45,000 public comments regarding the proposal. It says that the comments in opposition to “all or part of the proposed rule” were extensive. It also says that commenters provided “new information and literature not previously considered.”
Based on those comments, the release says, the proposal has been withdrawn entirely.
For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, visit fws.gov/refuge/kenai.
Reach reporter Jake Dye at email@example.com.