Support personal consumptive use of Alaska's fish and wildlife.
Oppose laws that give a preference to users based on residency, culture or ethnic background.
Support repeal of the federal rural subsistence priority in ANILCA (Title VIII, PL 96-487).
Support the Alaska State Constitution, which requires fish and wildlife resources be managed for common use on the sustained yield principle, for the maximum benefit of all the people.
We recognize the enormous contribution of personal consumptive resource uses to Alaskans' lifestyles, livelihoods, standards of living and overall economy.
We urge the State to challenge portions of ANILCA including: the infringement of federal law on the authority of Alaska to manage its fish and wildlife resources; and, the abridgment of individual civil rights conveyed in the state and federal constitutions.
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Predator Control, Active Management of Fish and Wildlife
Support science-based management of fish and game populations to provide reasonable and sustainable annual harvests for personal consumptive use. Support the professional and judicious use of prescribed fires and other habitat improvement techniques, predator control, reintroduction of endemic species, selective harvest strategies, and other active management tools.
Oppose active management that would result in the permanent extirpation of endemic fish and wildlife species, create unsustainably high population levels or harm habitats.
Abundant, productive and accessible game resources are necessary to reduce conflicts between user groups and mitigate for diminished hunting and trapping opportunities resulting from increasingly restrictive federal management policies throughout Alaska. The goals of active management should be to enhance and maintain fish and game resources at sustainable levels of abundance and productivity and provide reasonable opportunities for personal consumptive uses annually. We believe this is a primary constitutional responsibility of the State of Alaska.
Support the assertion and defense of the state's right to possess and manage all navigable waters and all RS2477 rights of way.
- Support the identification and reservation of ANCSA 17(b) easements prior to land transfer to private ownership.
- Support the identification and reservation of historic trails and access to waters for public use on all state lands by whatever designation is most appropriate.
Support the individual right to keep and bear arms and to use them for legitimate purposes.
Support use of Pittman-Robertson funds by Alaska Department of Fish and Game, with assisting organizations, to:
- Support programs of instruction in hunting and firearm safety.
- Support conceal carry legislation and the strengthening of the right to keep and bear arms.
- Oppose to any legislation that seeks to ban, require additional registration of, or prohibit legal ownership, possession, or use of semi-automatic rifles.
- assure a continuing Hunter Safety Program in Alaska
- construct shooting facilities, including rifle, pistol, shotgun, archery and muzzle loading.
- encourage firearm safety training to all Alaskan school children.
- develop an effective statewide Hunter education program.
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- Even though specific Alaskan fish and wildlife populations have, in the past, been threatened, Alaska's habitats have remained largely intact and have provided the essential basis for population recovery in species ranging from sea otter, fur seal and walrus to caribou, moose, Sitka black-tailed deer, beaver, salmon, char and trout.
- The AOC considers habitat conservation, or wise use, to be of critical importance to the long-term well being of Alaska's unique fish and wildlife assemblage and to the well being of her people. Natural resource extraction can be accommodated when it is undertaken within limits that insure the undiminished capabilities of Alaska's habitats to sustain fish and wildlife at their optimum levels. The AOC, therefore, supports regulation of resource uses and human developments to insure the protection of critical habitats.
Habituation of Wildlife and Viewing Areas
- A popular myth promoted by persons intolerant of hunting or trapping is that those pursuits are incompatible with wildlife viewing, photography or nature study and appreciation. Based on that myth, many are led to believe that wildlife viewing can only be successful where hunting or trapping is prohibited and wildlife is habituated to concentrations of people. Habituation of wildlife to concentrations of people can increase the risk of unnecessary injury or death for both wildlife and people unless the situations are intensively managed.
- Sixty percent of Alaska is federal land where non-consumptive use has the priority over all hunting and trapping, including subsistence use. Where allowed, hunting and trapping seasons generally do not overlap with the times most viewers are afield.
- We oppose the development of additional viewing areas that promote the habituation of wildlife, especially bears, to concentrations of people.
- If such areas are considered, they should only be allowed on federal lands, where there is already a priority for non-consumptive uses, and in areas that do not conflict with hunting and trapping.
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Boards of Fish and Game Appointments
- Support legislation to mandate sport fishing be equalized on the Board of Fish.
- Support legislation that would provide an amendment to the Alaska State Constitution as provided under Article XIII, Section 1, Alaska State Constitution, to establish a new system of appointing members to the Alaska Boards of Fisheries and Game. The new regulatory boards, as created by this constitutional amendment, may be empowered with administrative authority to appoint the principle executive officer of the Department of Fish and Game, and that such appointment be subject only to confirmation by of the Alaska State Legislature in joint session.
- Support the autonomy of the Alaska Boards of Fisheries and Game and their associated advisory committee system. Support the creation of statutorily authorizing the boards to hire and administer their own staff and to develop and control their own budgets.
- The boards should not be empowered to hire biologists, economists, or other professionals.
Funding of Fisheries and Wildlife Programs
Federal Encroachment, Sovereignty and Indian Country
- Attempts by individuals or organizations to obtain tribal government control over lands in Alaska must be recognized and proclaimed as a threat to a) effective management of fish, game and other resources; and b) equitable allocation of fish and game stocks.
- Oppose federal recognition of Indian country in Alaska.
- Oppose the use of public funds to promote Indian country recognition.
Hunting, Fishing & Trapping in Federal Conservation Units & State Parks.
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- Support the perpetuation of hunting, fishing and trapping on a sustained yield basis within ANILCA created parklands and other federal conservation system units.
- Oppose any efforts to eliminate or unnecessarily curtail these legal uses.
- Support retention of hunting opportunities in Alaska State Parks as permitted by statute. We specifically support the use of alternate methods, such as the use of bow & arrow in areas that otherwise would be closed to hunting for reasons of public safety.
Expansion of Military Lands
Oppose the expansion of military reservations in Alaska, or expansion of military use of public lands, without at least the same acreage and resource value of existing military reservation land being returned to unrestricted public land status.
- Recognize the first and most important allocation is that necessary for biological escapement needs sufficient to meet the sustained yield mandate.
- Recommend the Alaska Board of Fisheries more carefully consider the expanding economic potential of sport fishing and the value of the practice of sport fishing to Alaskans.
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Fish and Wildlife Safeguard
- Support the Alaska Fish and Wildlife Safeguard program that operates on a statewide basis to stop the illegal taking and use of Alaska's fish and wildlife resources.
- Support conservation of waterfowl in Alaska according to sound scientific principles. This is necessary to avoid overexploitation of vulnerable species during the spring and summer by spring shooting and egging that has led to depletion of Pacific black brant, cackling Canada, white-fronted and emperor geese populations and spectacled and Stellar's eiders in western Alaska.
- Laws and regulations should be developed and rigorously enforced to ensure the full recovery of depleted species and the conservation of all waterfowl species breeding in Alaska for future generations of all hunters throughout the flyways.
- Taking should be restricted to those periods before and after nesting and brood rearing and regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of Alaska. Taking to meet subsistence needs should be limited so as not to exceed harvests in 1999, as the human population of rural Alaska grows in the future.
- There should be no commercial sale of waterfowl allowed that would provide economic incentives for overexploitation on the nesting grounds.
- Oppose undue influence in the management of public waterfowl resources granted to subsistence hunters on the basis of race or culture under any co-management agreements in Alaska.
International Caribou Herds
- Opposed to any international treaty of agreement concerning the Porcupine Caribou Herd that in any way usurps the present management authorities of the state and territorial governments.
- Opposed to any approach of the Canadian government to use a caribou treaty as language for settling their long standing Native land claims.
- Any international agreement that is negotiated between the United States and Canada should limit the scope of the agreement to protection of habitat of the international caribou herds and where necessary, the establishment of only harvest quotas for each country.
Marine Mammal Protection Act and Possession
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- Support a federally sponsored public education program to fully inform the public of the requirements of the Marine Mammal Protection Act relating to possession and identification of marine mammal parts.
- Support an established procedure that will enable Alaskan citizens to register or otherwise document legal ownership of marine mammal parts in a manner that will not endanger the legal ownership of such parts.
- Harvest of Herring
- Concerned with the possible over-harvest of herring to satisfy the currently lucrative foreign market in roe. Herring are a uniquely important prey species that supports a broad variety of fish and wildlife resources.
- Supports active measures by the Department of Fish and Game to prevent over harvest and expand herring stocks.
Supports the exploration for and possible development of oil resources in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in the best practicable manner compatible with the fish and wildlife resources of the region and in the best economic interests of all the people of the State of Alaska.
The Alaska Outdoor Council graciously requests the Governor, the Alaska legislature, and the Alaska Congressional delegation to suffer no law which affects the rights of individuals to hunt or fish in Alaska, to be enacted or to remain in effect, unless it is consistent with the public trust and the public trust doctrine as originally embodied in the Alaska constitution.
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- The Alaska Outdoor Council graciously requests the Governor, the Alaska legislature, and the Alaska Congressional delegation to suffer no law which affects the rights of individuals to hunt or fish in Alaska, to be enacted or to remain in effect, unless it is consistent with the public trust and the public trust doctrine as originally embodied in the Alaska constitution.