Huntcell 's Link
It's ridiculous. The best science to date has been done by the Canadians and there's no evidence that Polar bears are endangered at this current time. Polar bear, walrus, marine otter, and seals, should be huntable in Alaska by non-natives too. Allowing natives to hunt them betrays the fact that they are truly not endangered and that the entire ban was just a feel-good law. When Emperor geese were put on the ESA, traditional use was also banned. In unit 23 in AK, Dall sheep have no season for even natives and Dall sheep are not endangered - the fact is, the numbers are down so it's illegal even for natives and locals to take a sheep. The fact remains, when numbers actually go down, the government moves in to prevent extinction. Canada has been hunting bears for over 30 years without hurting their populations since the US banned bear hunting in AK. It has absolutely nothing to do with science.
As far as odds of reversing the MMPA? That's not going to happen unless this country gets split in two.
Walrus have been struggling and are being forced to land far from traditional feed.
Much of the opposition to listing polar bears comes from those who fear it will stop resource extraction or other developments. It's why you should never argue with someone who's job depends on being right.
Almost every year we see less ice. I lived in AK for 30 years and the climate is warming, even faster than we thought likely 20 years ago.
Interestingly, some of the biggest mass extinctions have occurred due to global cooling events (glaciation). Humans shrank down to a very low number and almost went extinct during one of those fairly recent periods of glaciation.
The cycle starts spiraling downward due to more sunlight reflected off of ice and snow as more surface area becomes covered and fresh water gets locked up as ice that eventually results in massive glaciation.
Global cooling is bad.
We are still at the tail end of an ice age. Looking at the geologic record that indicates multiple ice ages with intermediate glaciation and warming periods. Following the cycle, median world temperatures should, hopefully increase. During warm periods in between ice ages, there was higher animal diversity and the planet was able to support higher overall numbers of animals.
Global warming is good!
And this cycle has been going on for millions of years - way before our first ancestors stood upright...
There's a couple of sites near where I live (one in far SW Virginia and one in Eastern Tennessee) which have fairly "recent" fossil deposits.
One is a a salt bog with Pleistocene magafauna fossils (mammoth, saber tooth cats, etc)
The other has a bit older deposits of fossils associated with tropical climates: tapirs, alligators, etc.
Hopefully there will be positive changes for the hunting community with the new administration. Particularly with respect to importation restrictions of non-endangered animals as well as removing restrictions on wolves, grizzlies, and polar bears in the US. Heck, although it is a different issue, I would love to see hunting of seals, walrus, and whales for non-natives as well!
The money provided from regulated hunting of these species provides much needed funding for continued research, development of management planning, and improvements to habitat that does not have to come out of tax payer's pockets.
I'd be darned surprised if Canadians weren't sick of American's telling them what to do with THEIR bears.
I'm not going to get into what the natives think of global warming. Let's just say they're not liberal.