WHEREAS, tribal stewardship of fish and wildlife is essential to all Tribal communities in Alaska for food security, community well-being, and cultural identity; and
WHEREAS, Lower Yukon Subregion (GASH) villages, Grayling, Holy Cross, Anvik and Shageluk are federally-recognized Tribal Governments located in Alaska Game Management Unit 21E; and
WHEREAS, the GASH Tribes are part of the GASH Advisory Committee (GASH AC), the local group that meets to discuss fishing and wildlife issues and to provides recommendations to the Alaska Board of Fisheries and the Alaska Board of Game; and
WHEREAS, the GASH AC is responsible for focusing on local hunting, fishing, trapping, and guided hunting and fishing concerns on all lands and waters in the region; and
WHEREAS, there are two designated seats for each of the GASH Tribal communities, and one undesignated seat, for a total of nine seats on the committee; and
WHEREAS, GASH AC representatives are selected by a majority vote by local residents of the area on a 2-year basis, and the maximum length of term is 3 years, which is not current practice; and
WHEREAS, GASH AC representatives represent local guides, outfitter personal, and commercial interests at the expense of local subsistence interests, which is inconsistent with AC operations requirements and the interests of the GASH Tribal Governments; and
WHEREAS, State of Alaska operations are insufficient to provide equal access to the all local fish and game advisory committees, with support in rural Alaska communities minimal compared to the support received by urban or suburban ACs from the State of Alaska; and
WHEREAS, State of Alaska adopted a Tribal Government-to-Government Consultation Policy specifically regarding state management of fish and wildlife 16 years ago, which is not implemented.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Tanana Chiefs Conference Full Board of Directors hereby directs staff to advocate on behalf of the GASH Tribal Governments to ensure the State of Alaska implements the ADF&G, Alaska Board of Game, and Alaska Board of Fisheries Tribal Government-to-Government Consultation Policy and require the GASH AC to follow mandated operating protocols for meetings, elections, designated seats, and various stakeholder representation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Tanana Chiefs Conference Full Board of Directors directs staff to consult with the State of Alaska to find solutions to better administer Local Fish and Game Advisory Committees in Interior Alaska in partnership with Tribes in the TCC Region to ensure access to the fish and wildlife management process is equal to that afforded urban and suburban areas of Alaska.
Submitted by: Lower Yukon Subregion
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