May 11, 2005
The Board clarified language regarding the sale of handicrafts made with bear fur. The changes approved by the Board state that Federally qualified subsistence users may sell handicrafts made from the skin, hide, pelt or fur (including claws) of black bear harvested on Federal lands in any region of the state. They also may sell handicrafts made from the skin, hide, pelt or fur (including claws) of brown bear taken on Federal lands in Southeast, the Eastern Interior and the Bristol Bay regions. These changes are intended to clarify previous decisions by the Board in 2002 and 2004.
The new regulatory language states that handicrafts must be made by rural Alaskans and further defines how the material can be altered for use in making handicrafts. The Board also adopted a provision, proposed by the Southeast Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council, to include bones, teeth, sinew and skulls of brown and black bears taken in Southeast among the parts that can be used in handicrafts. The Board deferred action until next year on a provision restricting the purchase or sale of handicrafts made from bear parts by licensed businesses.
In other action, the Board approved a requirement that deer hunters within Unit 2 in Southeast Alaska use a joint State/Federal harvest reporting form. This proposal was developed by the Southeast Alaska Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council's Unit 2 deer planning subcommittee. The subcommittee was formed last year to address concerns that subsistence users in Unit 2 are not able to harvest enough deer to meet their needs. Prince of Wales Island makes up most of Unit 2. The subcommittee's goal is to develop a management approach that ensures the long-term conservation of Unit 2 deer, maintains the rural subsistence priority on Federal public lands and minimizes adverse effects on nonrural hunters who also rely on Unit 2 deer. The joint harvest reporting requirement is being implemented in an effort to collect better data on the harvest of Unit 2 deer. The Alaska Board of Game passed a resolution at its March meeting in Anchorage supporting the joint deer harvest reporting requirement.
The Board approved a musk ox harvest, with a total harvest limit of two bulls, in the Cape Krusenstern National Monument. Eligibility for this new hunt is limited to those living within the monument or the immediately adjacent Napaktuktuk Mountain area.
The Board deferred action on a proposal that would have lengthened the moose hunting season in Unit 15 within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Board members expressed concern that the longer season would have resulted in an increased harvest and created conservation concerns for the moose population in that region. The refuge manager said he will work with local subsistence users on a proposal to adjust season dates to better meet their subsistence needs.
The Board also made changes to regulations for the harvest of caribou in Unit 13, the minimum age of hunters in Unit 6, sheep hunts for elders in Units 11 and 12, moose hunts in Unit 22B and Unit 24, and wolf and brown bear harvests in Unit 23. Details on these changes will be available in the Federal subsistence hunting and trapping regulations book, which will be available prior to July 1.
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