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The Alaska Outdoor Council is highlighting two issues that will come before the state's Joint Boards of Fisheries and Game on October 5. One would make much of GMU 13 non subsistence.
From an AOC email alert from Rod Arno:
Connect the Anchorage-Matsu-Kenai Nonsubsistence Area with the Fairbanks Nonsubsistence Area
Advisory Committee Participation During Board deliberations
In 1992 the Alaska Legislature passed the state subsistence law which gives the Joint Board of Fisheries and Game the authority to create Nonsubsistence Areas. A Nonsubsistence Area is an area or community where subsistence is not the principal characteristic of the economy, culture, and way of life.
New data gathered in the 2000 U.S. Census and by ADF&G Subsistence Division illustrates significant socio-economic and cultural change in the Nelchina Basin area of GMU 13.
The Mat-Valley F&G Advisory Committee has submitted Proposal #38 (proposal text
, proposal map
, PDF) in an effort to update the characteristics determining the Nonsubsistence designation in GMU 13.
Over 60% of Tier II applicants each year apply for Nelchina caribou. Competition for these permits has resulted in the Board of Game deliberating on scores of proposals over the years in addition to numerous court challenges. Tier II scoring for Nelchina caribou subsistence permits has become the single most contentious issue before the Board of Game.
The AOC believes that it is timely and appropriate for the Joint Board to review the criteria they have relied on to make their determination of non-subsistence in GMU 13 as proposed by the Mat Valley AC in Proposal 38.
Fish & Game Advisory Committee participation is embodied in state law. Fish & Game Advisory Committee members are elected from their communities to represent the views of area residents before the boards.All proposals can be seen on the ADFG/Boards website. Written comments are due 21 September. The Joint Boards meeting begins 5 October in Anchorage.
Boards often amend proposals, sometimes significantly. In the board process as currently constructed, public testimony – including input from the AC’s – is given before the board’s deliberations. As a result, local residents’ voice is never heard on the final version of the proposal – the one the Board actually votes on.
The AOC supports Proposal #34, submitted by the Fairbanks F&G Advisory Committee, to allow the chairman of the local AC to address the Board on an amended proposal, and urge public support for this initiative. Without public support I wouldn’t imagine the Joint Boards will give this concept much consideration.
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