Federal Judge Rules Against State In Emergency Covid Moose Hunt Suit

An Anchorage federal judge ruled that the Federal Subsistence Board was justified in creating an emergency subsistence deer and moose hunt around the Kake area during the height of the Covid pandemic. The State of Alaska and Alaska Department of Fish and Game had filed suit against the feds in claiming the added hunt overstepped its authority compared to the state. Here’s more from the Alaska Beacon:

In Friday’s decision, Gleason concluded that the Federal Subsistence Board, FSB, was within its rights to open an emergency deer and moose hunt near Kake when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted rural food supplies. 

The hunt, which successfully distributed deer and moose meat to 135 households in Kake, was authorized under a section of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, ANILCA, that requires federal land managers to prioritize subsistence hunting and fishing by rural residents.

Alaska’s constitution forbids treating rural and urban subsistence hunters differently, so the Alaska Department of Fish and Game filed suit in 2020.

Gleason previously declined to issue an order preventing other, similar hunts, and in 2021, she ruled that the issue was moot because the hunt had concluded.

Judge Gleason’s full report can be found here.