Safari Club International’s (SCI) advocates have once again made a difference for hunters. After an extensive outreach campaign, the Department of the Interior’s Federal Subsistence Board (FSB) has voted to defer a decision that would have prevented legal, non-federally qualified subsistence users from hunting caribou and moose on up to 40 million acres of federal public lands in Alaska from August 1 to September 30, 2021.
Specifically, SCI provided extensive written comments, verbal testimony, and a circulated a petition that was signed by over 2,400 advocates urging the FSB to reject this proposal, explaining why the decision to limit hunting access was contrary to science driven species conservation strategies and the North American Model for Conservation.
The status of caribou in the land under FSB consideration does not require that non-subsistence hunting be restricted. Years of data indicate that the Western Arctic caribou herd and Teshepuk caribou herd are stable, and that subsistence harvest has not changed or declined over the last several years.
FSB’s decision to defer their federal land access restriction is a huge win not only for hunters looking to take part in Alaska’s rich hunting traditions but also for the scientific management of caribou and moose populations in the Last Frontier that relies on regulated hunting every year.
“While the FSB will consider this proposal again in the future, hunters in Alaska, across the lower 48 states, and around the world can travel to in Alaska and hunt during this upcoming moose and caribou season,” commented SCI CEO W. Laird Hamberlin. “Fighting these battles to protect hunter access across America is a core pillar of SCI’s mission, and we are ecstatic we could secure this victory for our members and the hunting community writ large.”