Prince of Wales Island further restricts opportunities for visitors
By Charles Edwardson
April 18, 2018
So it has been determined if you are a non-subsistence hunter you must now be restricted to two deer vs. four deer to be available off of federal land including Prince of Wales Island, so the deer will be easier to kill for subsistence hunters.
WHAT?? That is the premise and no other explanation provided in the Ketchikan Daily News article on 4-18-18 as to why the federal subsistence board determined that this is the best course of action for the entire population of Prince of Wales Island.
There is no decline in the population of deer according to the Fsh and Game and non-subsistence hunters have not negatively affected the deer population according to the Ketchikan Daily News article. So the reason for this action is unclear and in my opinion detrimental to some businesses who depend on visitors to the Island. As this ( may ) I'm not saying it will deter some segment of visitors to the Island, which is a part of the economic make-up of POW.
I am only one person and my investments on Prince of Wales Island probably don't mean much to anyone unless you sell food, beer, building supplies, excavation companies, rental companies, etc, etc. Those expenses will be harder to justify in an uncertain business environment.
Over the years, I have purchased 3 lots on Prince of Wales Island in Coffman Cove Alaska. I have over the last seven years been building a house for my wife and I to retire in Coffman Cove Alaska. But to do that our plan was to build a smaller cabin adjacent to our house and two other cabins on our other two lots to rent, to supplement our income so we can stay on the Island.
With this recent action by Prince of Wales Island residents through their representatives on the federal subsistence board to restrict deer harvest to non-subsistence users to two deer, and the recent downturn in the sport fish allocations and the sense that POW (Prince of Wales ) doesn't really want or depend on the visitor industry for at least some of its economy, I have changed my plans on development of my cottages for a couple of years to wait and see if visitors decline to the Island occurs due to less opportunity in both fishing and now hunting.
The federal subsistence board ( whoever they might be) they are named in the Ketchikan Daily News article voted unanimously to cut the deer harvest for non-subsistence users in half, with virtually no objection from any POW residents or business owners or stake holders. This to me sends a message to potential investors, developers of lodges, or cottages that more limitations are possible in the future. Perhaps the residents may decide that road access should be limited to non-subsistence users, or that 1 deer makes more sense than two because those darn Sitka Blacktail deer are just so hard to get.
For now I have decided to build some small cottage type rentals in Ketchikan where the business climate is a little clearer. And wait to see if there is a decline in visitors to Prince of Wales Island due to less opportunities in every aspect of the Island, related to fishing and hunting.
About: Born and raised in Ketchikan and spend a great deal of my time and resources on POW.
By SCOTT BOWLEN
Received April 16, 2018 - Published April 18, 2018
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