Village-only hunt ruled unconstitutional
A judge in Kenai ruled that the Ahtna community hunt violates the "common use" clause of the state constitution.
By Mary Pemberton, Associated Press
Saturday, July 17, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ A state judge has ruled that a community hunt reserved for eight Native villages is illegal because it violates the Alaska constitution.
While acknowledging that traditional, local hunters face unfair competition from non-local hunters who have more money and are better equipped, Kenai Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman ruled that the Ahtna community hunt violates the state constitution because it is for locals only.
The court also found a problem with the Alaska Board of Game handing over administration of the hunt to Ahtna Inc., the regional Native corporation. The court says the board is not authorized to hand over control of the state's game resources to a private entity.
The community hunt for Nelchina caribou was approved by the board in spring 2009