DOI announces date of public hearing for deferred Alaska caribou and moose hunts


Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Last April, the Northwest Arctic Subsistence Regional Advisory Council submitted a proposal to close federal public lands in Alaska Units 23 and 26A to the harvest of caribou and moose by non-federally qualified users from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, 2021. 

A federally qualified user is defined as someone who is basically a subsistence hunter.

However, upon review, the Federal Subsistence Board requested the Office of Subsistence Management “to seek additional input on concerns related to caribou” and “include comparisons of moose harvest by survey data within Unit 23,” according to a news release. This request deferred any action on the potential closures until 2022, resulting in zero changes for the 2021 season. 

Last week, an additional public hearing was announced regarding the proposed closures to discuss “significant new information” gathered on the Western Arctic caribou herd population. New data found that the herd has decreased 24% in two years, dropping from an estimated 244,000 caribou in 2019 to only 188,000 caribou in 2021, according to a news release

If you want to participate in the hearing, the information is below:

Monday, March 21 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (or until the end of public participation)
Teleconference: Toll Free: 1-800-779-2712
Passcode: 5653753

The most current analysis of the request to close the hunts is available here.

The board will meet on March 30 to consider the proposal. Stay tuned to goHUNT for further updates.

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