The Alaska Board of Game (Board) will hold a non-regulatory meeting via teleconference at 10 a.m., Friday, January 5 to consider two proposals to modify hunting regulations for the FortyMile caribou herd.
The Board meeting will consider two agenda change requests (ACR) submitted for the February 2018 regulatory meeting cycle, and to address any other non-regulatory board business.
One of the two ACRs challenges current regulations as not consistent with subsistence hunting policy, challenging the board to provide more subistence hunting opportunity.
The second challenges the board to loosen hunting regulations, beyond subsistence, since this particular caribou herd has boomed to more than 75,000 animals in recent years, arguing that more hunting pressure will help the herd’s long-term sustainability.
Neither proposal questions that there is no conservation issues with the herd.
One ADF&G comment on the proposals summarizes:
“The department is further evaluating the likely benefits from an intensive management program intended to grow the herd to increase levels of caribou for high levels of human consumptive use and to help meet subsistence needs. The Fortymile herd has been identified as important for high levels of harvest for human consumptive use, with an Intensive Management Population Objective of 50,000–100,000 and Harvest Objective of 1,000 – 15,000. There is a positive Customary and Traditional use finding for Fortymile caribou in Units 12, 20D, 20E, and 25C, with an amount necessary for subsistence (ANS) of 350–400. ”
That in the context of herd’s surprising growth in recent years, compounded by department challenges in getting accurate counts.
The Board did not intend to conduct a second review of ACR submissions for its published schedule. However, on a technical review of 5 AAC 92.005 there is adequate cause to review additional ACRs received 60 days prior to the February 2018 board meeting.
The Board will be accepting written public comment through Wednesday, January 3, only on the two ACRs.
Written comments must be submitted on the Board’s website at www.boardofgame.adfg.alaska.gov; by fax to (907) 465-6094; or emailed as attachments only, to email@example.com. The Board will not be taking public testimony during the teleconference.
A live audio stream of the meeting will be available at http://www.boardofgame.adfg.alaska.gov for the public to listen to. The agenda, ACRs, and other meeting materials will be available online at: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=gameboard.meetinginfo.
For more information about the meeting, contact the Department of Fish and Game, Boards Support Section at (907) 465-4046.