When you allow the feds to set up a race-based regime for the management of fish and game, the federal appointees will quickly make race-based decisions on who gets access to the gifts of nature. Such is the state of hunting for caribou in western Alaska.
A couple of weeks ago, the Federal Subsistence Board closed non-local caribou hunters from all federal lands in Game Management Unit for the coming hunting season. The Federal Subsistence Board is charged with ensuring customary and necessary hunting of fish and game by local hunters and fishermen, essentially a racial preference, as required by Title 8 of ANILCA.
The problem with ANILCA is that the writers in congress did not have the balls to create an actual racial preference. Instead, they mealy mouthed the term and wrote “rural preference,” which in rural Alaska means Alaska Native, essentially a racial preference.
As the years have continued the Boards have become increasingly more intrusive, arbitrary, and capricious in defining the taking of fish and game by methods that are supposed to be “customary and traditional” but have included snow machines, firearms, gill nets, and fish wheels, none of which existed in the times that subsistence meant you either caught your meal or you starved.
Today there is a spiritual quality to feeding yourself from the bounty of the land that only seems to matter to Alaska Natives and not to anyone else. And the federal employees are exploiting this for everything they are worth, being good little democrat appointees, scratching the racial itch as hard and furiously as they possibly can.
Perhaps the Walker administration will respond to this outrage. Perhaps not. My dime is no, as they are Democrats rather than Alaskans.
Alex Gimarc lives in Anchorage since retiring from the military in 1997. His interests include science and technology, environment, energy, economics, military affairs, fishing and disabilities policies. His weekly column “Interesting Items” is a summary of news stories with substantive Alaska-themed topics. He is a small business owner and Information Technology professional.
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