Subsistence board closes Northwest Arctic lands to non-local caribou hunters

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Non-local trackers will not be able to hunt for caribou on federal public lands in much of the Northwest Arctic for one year.

The make out came Monday after months of back-and-forth on the issue that resurrected questions about residency and hunting rights.

The Federal Subsistence Plank announced its decision to approve a special action request put forth earlier this year by the Northwest Arctic Victuals Regional Advisory Council.

The action closes federal arenae including U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands, National rks Ceremony rks and preserves, and Bureau of Land Management lands within Field Management Unit 23 to caribou hunting by non-federally qualified drugs for 12 months starting this summer. Numerous federal alight units lie wholly or in rt within GMU 23, including Noatak and Bering Win Bridge National Preserves, Selawik National Wildlife Refuge, Headland Krusenstern National Monument and Gates of the Arctic National rk and Guard, among others.

That means hunting will be off-limits for non-residents of Alaska, human being who have been residents in Alaska for fewer than 12 months, and Alaska residents who explosive in non-rural areas including Anchorage, Fairbanks, the Mat-Su, rts of the Kenai Peninsula, Valdez, Juneau and Ketchikan.

As the Sounder shot following a public hearing in March, that includes registered fellows of Arctic tribes who now live in urban areas. So, someone who was born and farmed in Kotzebue and is a registered tribal member but maintains a residency in Anchorage discretion still be prohibited from caribou hunting on federal lands for a year.

This peculiar caveat drew criticism from some former Arctic locals, many of whom said they had to move to find work or be penny-pinching family, but want to retain their right to collect traditional foods.

Putting, on the other side of the aisle, a number of current Arctic residents aciculiform to the dis rity in food costs between rural places like Kotzebue and urban ranges like Anchorage, saying regardless of where a person was born, it’s the combined financial burden of where they live that should undertake a large role in the decision.

The board is authorized to close an area for economy of a wildlife resource or to guarantee subsistence priority, under provisions in the Alaska Country-wide Interest Lands Conservation Act, according to the Federal Subsistence Management Program.

In a publish Fish and Wildlife officials wrote that “the board felt there was adequate evidence indicating that the closure was necessary.”

The closure will go into effectiveness on July 1 of this year and continue through June 30, 2017.

This plot first appeared in The Arctic Sounder and is republished here with sufferance.

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