Federal Hunting Closures Affect Mountain Goats, Dall Sheep

Two hunting closures on federal lands have been announced. KINY radio reported on a subsistence federal mountain goat hunt that will close federal land in Game Management Unit 5A near Yakutat. Here are some details:

The closed area begins on the west shore of Harlequin Lake and the western edge of Yakutat Glacier; then west of Harlequin Lake and Yakutat Glacier to Yakutat Bay and Disenchantment Bay; and south of Russell and Nunatak Fjords.

The closure is effective Sunday, July 31, at 11:59 p.m., and will remain in effect through Jan. 31, 2023.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game also shut down state-controlled land hunting in the same region for mountain goats.

The Federal Subsistence Board also plans to eliminated federal hunts for Dall sheep on some public lands. Here’s what the proposal stated:

WSA22-02 requests that Dall sheep hunting on Federal public lands in Units 24A and 26B, west of the Sagavanirktok River be closed to all users for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 wildlife regulatory years. Submitted by: Western Interior Alaska Subsistence Regional Advisory Council.

Some Safari Club International reaction:

On July 26, 2022, the Federal Subsistence Board (FSB) voted unanimously to enact proposal WSA 22-02, despite overwhelming opposition from the public and the by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG). WSA 22-02 restricts hunting by all users for Brooks Range Dall’s sheep on Federal public lands in Unit 24A and Unit 26B, west of the Sagavanirktok River, for the 2022-2024 wildlife regulatory cycle.  This is yet another FSB closure in a long series of closures, contrary to ADFG’s position.

Comments against the proposal were overwhelming, with comments opposed over supporting at an 11:1 ratio. SCI Alaska Chapter President John Sturgeon testified in opposition at the hearing, and SCI President Sven Lindquist provided written comments in opposition prior to the hearing.  Despite the voice of Alaskans, hunters, and the experts, the FSB – a group of largely unelected, federal bureaucrats – voted unanimously to enact WSA 22-02. 

SCI stands against decision as we fight for the rights of states to manage their wildlife and against federal overreach. SCI is always First for Hunters.