A bill before the House Resources Committee would tighten residency requirements for sportfishing, hunting and trapping licenses.
Community groups have raised concerns that a gap in state law allows people who don’t live year-round in Alaska to claim residency to harvest fish and wildlife with cheaper licenses and higher bag limits. The measure, introduced by Sitka independent Rep. Rebecca Himschoot, would align requirements to renew those licenses with requirements to get a Permanent Fund dividend.
Like the dividend, applicants would need to have lived in Alaska for most of the past year to renew their license, unless they had an allowable absence like serving in the military.
Alaska Resident per AS 16.05.415(a): “resident” means a person (including an alien) who is physically present in Alaska with the intent to remain indefinitely and make a home here, has maintained that person’s domicile in Alaska for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding this application for a license, and is not claiming residency or obtaining benefits under a claim of residency in another state, territory, or country; a member of the military service or U.S. Coast Guard who has been permanently stationed in Alaska for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding this application for a license; or a dependent of a resident member of the military service or U.S. Coast Guard who has lived in Alaska for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding this application for a license. A person who does not otherwise qualify as a resident may not qualify by virtue of an interest in an Alaska business.
Per AS 16.05.415(b): A person who establishes residency in the state in accordance with the residency provision above remains a resident during an absence from the state unless during the absence the person (1) establishes or claims residency in another state, territory, or country; or (2) performs an act, or is absent under circumstances, that are inconsistent with the intent required under the residency provision above.