Photo by Paul Atkins
The U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Federal Subsistence Management Program sent out the following press release that will surely not be a popular decision with sport hunters in Northwest Alaska.
Here’s the full release:
The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) has approved Temporary Special Action WSA16-01, closing Federal public lands in Unit 23 to caribou hunting by non-Federally qualified users effective July 1, 2016 and continuing through June 30, 2017.
The Board felt that there was sufficient evidence indicating that the closure was necessary to allow for the continuation of subsistence uses and for conservation of a healthy caribou population as mandated under ANILCA Section 815.
The public testimony expressed to the Board by residents of the area, the support of the special action request by the two affected Regional Advisory Councils, and the current status of the herd, compelled the Board to take action. A closure to all but Federally qualified subsistence users is consistent with providing a subsistence priority for use of the resource; to assure that a rural preference is provided; and recognizes the cultural and social aspects of subsistence activities, which may be hampered by direct interaction between local and non-local users.