Grand Canyon National Park

There is not a law that outlaws hunting in all national parks across the united states as some would have us believe. The Black Bear Blog had a story about the the parks titled “Are Our National Parks Being Run By Those Who Think They Own Them?

I would say a resounding yes to that question and the fact that most Americans including those who hunt believe there is a law that bans hunting in the National Parks. Here is the Federal Law that governs the National Parks;

TITLE 36–PARKS, FORESTS, AND PUBLIC PROPERTY CHAPTER I–NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PART 2–RESOURCE PROTECTION, PUBLIC USE AND RECREATION–Table of Contents Sec. 2.2 Wildlife protection. (a) The following are prohibited: (1) The taking of wildlife, except by authorized hunting and trapping activities conducted in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section. (2) The feeding, touching, teasing, frightening or intentional disturbing of wildlife nesting, breeding or other activities. (3) Possessing unlawfully taken wildlife or portions thereof. (b) Hunting and trapping. (1) Hunting shall be allowed in park areas where such activity is specifically mandated by Federal statutory law. (2) Hunting may be allowed in park areas where such activity is specifically authorized as a discretionary activity under Federal statutory law if the superintendent determines that such activity is consistent with public safety and enjoyment, and sound resource management principles. Such hunting shall be allowed pursuant to special regulations. (3) Trapping shall be allowed in park areas where such activity is specifically mandated by Federal statutory law. (4) Where hunting or trapping or both are authorized, such activities shall be conducted in accordance with Federal law and the laws of the State within whose exterior boundaries a park area or a portion thereof is located. Nonconflicting State laws are adopted as a part of these regulations. (c) Except in emergencies or in areas under the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, the superintendent shall consult with appropriate State agencies before invoking the authority of Sec. 1.5 for the purpose of restricting hunting and trapping or closing park areas to the taking of wildlife where such activities are mandated or authorized by Federal statutory law. (d) The superintendent may establish conditions and procedures for transporting lawfully taken wildlife through the park area. Violation of these conditions and procedures is prohibited. (e) The Superintendent may designate all or portions of a park area as closed to the viewing of wildlife with an artificial light. Use of an artificial light for purposes of viewing wildlife in closed areas is prohibited. (f) Authorized persons may check hunting and trapping licenses and permits; inspect weapons, traps and hunting and trapping gear for compliance with equipment restrictions; and inspect wildlife that has been taken for compliance with species, size and other taking restrictions. (g) The regulations contained in this section apply, regardless of land ownership, on all lands and waters within a park area that are under the legislative jurisdiction of the United States. [48 FR 30282, June 30, 1983, as amended at 49 FR 18450, Apr. 30, 1984; 51 FR 33264, Sept. 19, 1986; 52 FR 35240, Sept. 18, 1987]

If you read closely you’ll see that hunting and trapping are allowed in the National Parks. The American Hunter Magazine in the June 2006 issue had a story about this issue [A National Conundrum by Frank Miniter] and they said that some parks in their original charter ban hunting but many more do not. Most hunting bans are put in place by the individual Park Superintendents. The article further states


 Congress never told them whether to allow hunting! As a result, the NPS has decided that such parks should be closed to sportsmen.

The National Parks System was established by President Theodore Roosevelt, who by the way also founded the Boone & Crocket Club, who was extremely supportive of hunting in America. I bet he is turning over in his grave if he only knew how poorly managed the wildlife resource is being managed.