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  1. #1

    Question DIY Brooks Range a thing of the past?

    I started another thread about first time DIY in Alaska for caribou or black bear, in doing research I found recent legislative efforts to close off all hunting in federal lands to anyone but subsistence hunters in AK units 23, 26A, and 26B (in 23 this is in effect for the 2016-2017 season). Subsistence hunter's meaning locals not residents... so rule applies to you if you are from Anchorage. There is a separate measure looking to make anyone hunting the remaining state lands do so guided.

    I have found articles saying these rules were not recommended by the state and are not biologically based.

    26A, 26B, and 23 make up the lions share of the brooks range. My gut reaction is to not like any regs that constrict access on public lands and I think the guide legislation is bogus just like Wyoming ridiculous wilderness policy. That said I haven't been to this area, I'm not a local, and I don't know the ins and outs of the situation.

    My hope is that someone with local knowledge or insight into the these pieces of legislation could share the arguments on both sides of this debate/ decision.

    These measures would essentially remove access to hunting to more public land than is in the entire state of Colorado, or Wyoming, or Montana, or Arizona, or Idaho, or New Mexico to all but a few thousand people.

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    Racism is alive and well in Alaska. Well I guess I should have said reverse racism, because its the minority dictating to the majority. Our politicians cater to exploiting the gap between native and non-native, bending over backwards to mollify the minority. The same as we're currently seeing in most other states.
    Other than commenting on these measures (when appropriate) and keeping your own representatives aware of your stance on these issues (regarding federal lands - the feds have historically the worst when it comes to caving in to minorities), I'm not sure what else we can do.

  3. #3

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    Gary do you have to have tribal affiliation to get substance rights or if I moved to unit 23 could I get that status? Is this something the native groups are lobbying for directly? Also I would assume that the northern communities rely in part on tourism and hunters for their economy. These measures seem like they would have a huge finical impact on local communities? I can't imagine the entire reason for these regs are hey we don't like white people flying into/ out of our town 4 months a year?

    The guide rule makes sense at least as it creates jobs.

  4. #4

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    From what I've heard a couple bad transporters dumped some hunters on top of tribal hunters a couple times.
    So in response, the most logical thing is to restrict an area larger than California....

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    This is a terrible bill all the way around. They amended the bill to specific caribou herds, and got rid of units. As of now the bill is DOA once it goes to a vote in the Senate, which is extremely unlike to happen this session, they have more important things at the moment.

    One major settlement made between the State and the Feds as part of statehood was the the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). Among many things, it allows for rural residents to have preference over game and fish on federal lands. Basically they have a separate Federal sub-set of regulations they can adhere to, but can also hunt/fish under the general hunting regs. As the population increases, the folks who don't live in rural parts of the state and non-residents will see their hunting opportunities reduced.

    "Subsistence" is granted to those living in basically any village or rural area, either statewide or specific to a region or GMU. Has noting to do with race, but the majority of those that live in rural areas are generally native. Natives are the only ones who can kill marine mammals, but that is managed under separate rules/regs.

    Its more about the caribou numbers than anything, IMO. The three main herds on the Slope have declined dramatically, the knee jerk reaction is to close it off to everyone but the locals who depend on the meat for, cough, survival. Yet there is no biological reason to do so. Sport hunters take very few animals from those herds compared to subsistence hunters, and sport hunters generally only take bulls, which has little to no effect on herd size over time. If they were taking a large percentage it would be a different story, but as it stands now its 5-10% of the total take... its amazing that the bag limit for local residents is 5 caribou per day, but non-residents are having a huge impact at 1 caribou a year.
    "No Kuiu here"

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    Quote Originally Posted by wllm1313 View Post
    Gary do you have to have tribal affiliation to get substance rights or if I moved to unit 23 could I get that status? Is this something the native groups are lobbying for directly? Also I would assume that the northern communities rely in part on tourism and hunters for their economy. These measures seem like they would have a huge finical impact on local communities? I can't imagine the entire reason for these regs are hey we don't like white people flying into/ out of our town 4 months a year?

    The guide rule makes sense at least as it creates jobs.
    Residency trumps race. The feds were careful to not use race as the deciding factor in determining who's entitled to a subsistence lifestyle. But as Bambistew mentioned, the vast majority of folks living in these remote villages are native Alaskans.
    Yes, the native corporations are the primary movers behind the new rules.
    Hunters have a significant economic impact in some of the larger villages (ie: Kotzabue, Galena and McGrath come to mind), but smaller villages would only benefit from a pilot and plane possibly staging out of them. Hunters would fly in, get on the next plane and depart, not really having any time to leave any money for the locals. And to be honest, smaller villages wouldn't have an infrastructure to support much in the way of seasonal sales to outsiders. However even in the larger villages there can be found an animosity towards outsiders who come only to shoot "their animals".
    It seems that the trend in modern politics is to give in to minorities almost anything they ask for, so its only natural for a minority member to ask for more and more, just to establish what the limits may be and to get as much as they can before the politics change.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bambistew View Post
    . its amazing that the bag limit for local residents is 5 caribou per day, but non-residents are having a huge impact at 1 caribou a year.
    Now you're starting to sound like me
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawnboy View Post
    Now you're starting to sound like me

    Exactly what I was thinking. When I went to the north slope bou hunting I brought out one animal a nice bull. Two local groups where flying back into the runway and had 8-10 bou each when I was packing my flight for the trip out.
    And wasn't there a large poaching case a while back on the north slope out of kotz that involved like 100 animals shot to rot on the tundra and it was natives and nothing happened to anyone in the case. This is all a joke the locals are their own worst enemy it appears.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brownbear932008 View Post
    Exactly what I was thinking. When I went to the north slope bou hunting I brought out one animal a nice bull. Two local groups where flying back into the runway and had 8-10 bou each when I was packing my flight for the trip out.
    And wasn't there a large poaching case a while back on the north slope out of kotz that involved like 100 animals shot to rot on the tundra and it was natives and nothing happened to anyone in the case. This is all a joke the locals are their own worst enemy it appears.
    It wasn't considered "poaching" and I don't think it was Kotz, but one of the villages farther north. I believe the village elders were given jurisdiction over the shooters (I forget if there were 4 or 6 of them) and to the best of my knowledge, no punishment was every assessed on them. Village politics.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    interior Alaska
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    It wasn't considered "poaching" and I don't think it was Kotz, but one of the villages farther north. I believe the village elders were given jurisdiction over the shooters (I forget if there were 4 or 6 of them) and to the best of my knowledge, no punishment was every assessed on them. Village politics.
    The village was Point Hope.
    Charged with wanton waste, failure to salvage meat, or both are Point Hope residents Lazarus C. Killigvuk, 25; Randy John Oktollik, 26; Roy Oktollik, 18; Brett Oktollik, 20; Koomalook M. Stone, 18; Chester W. Koonuk, 29; Aqquilluk Hank, 30; and Roy A. Miller, 20.

    https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/arti...er/2009/03/17/

    Three were eventually convicted:
    http://juneauempire.com/stories/0207...l#.WRk-mVXyv3g

    More recently villagers from Point Hope were convicted of wanton waste of walrus,
    this time by the feds:
    https://www.justice.gov/usao-ak/pr/p...ral-violations
    Last edited by AlaskaHunter; 05-14-2017 at 11:42 PM.

  11. #11

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    Situations like this just bum me out. Do you all think these will be permanent closures or Alaskan regulations see to evolve over the years?

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by wllm1313 View Post
    Situations like this just bum me out. Do you all think these will be permanent closures or Alaskan regulations see to evolve over the years?
    They evolve over the years and I've yet to see one reversed. Once we lose opportunity it seems to be gone for good, especially true for NR. Pretty soon the only caribou you can hunt "OTC" will be the 40-mile herd, then it will just be a matter of time before further restrictions/drawing due to increased pressure, or elimination of the hunt under "subsitince" preference. Much of the 40-mile herd home range is federal land.

    About the only good thing to come from the State owning so much land, is the locals can't interject their subsistence preference/priorty on State lands. The state can allow subsistence, but it is managed by them, not the feds. Something to be very thankful for res and NR. The land settlement is still being hashed out almost 40 years later. The Feds still owe the state ~15 million acres, and another 4-5 million to native corps. The state owns about 28% and native corps own about 12% of all land in AK. The rest is owned by the feds, minus less than 1% that is private.

    At some point in the future about 60% of all lands in AK could be off limits to hunting/fishing for everyone except for "locals" with subsistence preference. This Brooks Range bill is just the latest in a long string of efforts.

    The whole "keep it public" drum doesn't beat quite so loud in Alaska, IMO.

    YMMV.
    "No Kuiu here"

  13. #13

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    Luckily I did most of the hunts in Alaska I've dreamed of doing.Looks like things are headed downhill for the NR diy hunter.I'm hoping my son goes in the service next year and gets stationed there so I can hunt with him on a few more DIY trips

  14. #14

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    And there goes another thing that I "missed the boat" on...

    Hate how good at that, that I am...

  15. #15

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    Not sure how receptive tribes/ US fish and Wildlife services are to outsiders on the issue... but it seems like a way better solution would have been to require local guides on federal lands. I don't love that idea, like I don't love Wyoming's rule, but at least it would give people outside a few villages a chance to experience that country and it would provide a great source of income to those towns. You could even mandate that to guide unit 23 you had to be a year around resident to make sure that the money is staying in the community.

    I refuse to say oh well the best is behind us, luckily I got to go hunt Alaska, Wyoming, MT, etc while it was good, too bad for the next generation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wllm1313 View Post
    Not sure how receptive tribes/ US fish and Wildlife services are to outsiders on the issue... but it seems like a way better solution would have been to require local guides on federal lands. I don't love that idea, like I don't love Wyoming's rule, but at least it would give people outside a few villages a chance to experience that country and it would provide a great source of income to those towns. You could even mandate that to guide unit 23 you had to be a year around resident to make sure that the money is staying in the community.

    I refuse to say oh well the best is behind us, luckily I got to go hunt Alaska, Wyoming, MT, etc while it was good, too bad for the next generation.
    I don't believe the constitutions (federal and state) allow for that type of discrimination in assignment of guide areas. Labor Laws - specifically. It's a mess, for sure.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    I don't believe the constitutions (federal and state) allow for that type of discrimination in assignment of guide areas. Labor Laws - specifically. It's a mess, for sure.
    Agreed... but you could say that nonresidents can harvest an animal on the daily bag limit quota of a subsistence hunter when accompanying them in the field, if that said subsistence hunter is registered as an Alaskan guide. Thus making creating a group of local guides and incentivising them to hunt in ways to keep the herd healthy to keep paying customers coming back. I'm just saying there is definitely a nuanced solution that helps the animals, locals, and nonres hunters. (Obviously I don't have the answer... it just seems like the current rule is ill conceived.
    Last edited by wllm1313; 05-16-2017 at 02:08 PM.

  18. #18

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    This is a real bummer for guys like me who still haven't made it up there. Looks like I'd better move it up on the list. Kind of sounds like there might be a couple of good years to still be had.

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    Caribou populations have been dropping across the state, so there is some reason for concern. Of course, caribou are one of the least understood (and probably understudied) of our game animals.
    There are quite a few folks in the state that do depend, in large part, on caribou for subsistence; but stopping sport hunters from harvesting a small portion of any given herd will probably do NOTHING to stop the herds continuing decline.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by greatwhitebuffalo View Post
    This is a real bummer for guys like me who still haven't made it up there. Looks like I'd better move it up on the list. Kind of sounds like there might be a couple of good years to still be had.
    My sentiments exactly! Partly why I made the decision to go next year come hell or high water even if it means going solo.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    interior Alaska
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    Federal Subsistence Board rejects request to close Federal public lands in Unit 26A and Unit 26B to caribou hunting by non-Federally qualified users
    The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) rejected Temporary Special Action Request WSA17-04, which requested that Federal public lands in Unit 26A and Unit 26B be closed to caribou hunting by non-Federally qualified users during the July 1, 2017 June 30, 2018 regulatory year.

    The Board concluded that recently enacted conservation actions by the Alaska Board of Game and Board for the Western Arctic, Teshekpuk, and Central Arctic Caribou Herds need to be given time to determine if they are effective in reducing the caribou harvest, and in slowing down or reversing the population declines in these caribou herds before additional closures are enacted. Closure of Federal public lands to non-Federally qualified users would not likely have as much of an effect as recent Alaska Board of Game actions that protect cows and reduce the overall caribou harvest. Much of the non-Federally qualified user harvest occurs on State lands, and a closure runs the risk of concentrating hunters onto State lands, which are adjacent to some villages, thereby increasing impacts to these communities.

    The number of caribou harvested by non-Federally qualified users is not biologically significant for the Western Arctic and Teshekpuk Caribou Herds in Unit 26A and the potentially significant impact of non-Federally qualified user harvest from the Central Arctic Caribou Herd in Unit 26B has now been addressed by newly enacted State regulations for the 2017-2018 regulatory year. The Board recommends that these changes take effect in lieu of enacting additional regulations at this time.
    View Full News Release at:
    https://www.doi.gov/subsistence/news/general/federal-subsistence-board-rejects-request-close-federal-public-lands-unit

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