State Appealing Over A Covid-Created Federal Subsistence Hunt For A Second Time

Photo by Lisa Hupp/USFWS

In November, a federal judge rejected the state’s lawsuit after the feds stepped in to create a subsistence moose and deer hunt during the Covid pandemic. Now, Gov. Mike Dunleavy, who’s been busy in taking legal action regarding Alaska’s natural resources lately, came at the federal government with a second appeal this week.

Here’s the Alaska Beacon with some details:

Dunleavy’s administration filed its notice of appeal Thursday, two months after U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason ruled that the Federal Subsistence Board acted legally when it authorized the hunt of up to four moose and 10 deer.

The state’s four-page notice doesn’t include the specific legal basis for the appeal. But a spokeswoman for the Alaska Department of Law, Patty Sullivan, said in an email that the action is to “protect against federal overreach of game management on public lands.”

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of the Interior, which houses the subsistence board, did not respond to a request for comment. Nathaniel Amdur-Clark, an attorney for Kake’s tribal government, which intervened in the case in defense of the board, said it’s “disappointing but not surprising that the state is dragging this on.”

The underlying lawsuit is one of multiple cases in which the Dunleavy administration is clashing with the federal government over fish and game management in Alaska, and over who has the ultimate regulatory power in that realm.