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Legislature passes trapping bill for disabled veterans and Alaska National Guard members

fox in snow

A bill that would provide veterans and members of the Alaska National Guard with free trapping licenses has passed the Alaska Legislature.

Senate Bill 10, authored by Juneau Sen. Jesse Kiehl, passed the House of Representatives on a 39-0 vote Monday. Representative Tom McKay was excused from the call in the House.

Representative Mike Cronk of Tok, who had filed an identical companion bill in the House, carried the bill for Sen. Kiehl.

“This bill extends a free trapping license to service-disabled veterans and active-duty National Guard and Reserves,” Cronk said on the House floor Tuesday. “They currently receive a free hunting and fishing license, and I’m not sure why the trapping part was left out. I am always encouraging that we support our trapping.”

The free trapping licenses would be added to the free hunting and fishing licenses disabled and National Guard members currently receive.

Cronk says SB10 is a way of showing gratitude for Alaskan men and women who have served in uniform.

“This also gives the service-disabled vets the same license that we currently give Alaskans over 60,” Cronk said. “This bill is supported by (Alaska Department of) Fish & Game, outdoor groups and veteran service organizations. For those that have been injured in service, this is a small token of our appreciation.”

The bill previously passed the Alaska Senate in a 20-0 vote and advanced to the House for consideration.

Senate Bill 10 was the first bill passed by either half of the Alaska Legislature this year. Senator Donny Olson of Golovin is a cross-sponsor of the bill.

Eight of the members present in the House sought to be excused from voting on SB10, citing a conflict of interest because they could be eligible for licenses if it passed. All eight were subsequently required to vote on the measure after objections were raised. The bill will likely head to Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s desk for a signature.

Image at top: Vulpes vulpes, the red fox, hunting in the sub-Arctic snow. Photo in the public domain, via Pixabay.

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