YK RAC to meet in Bethel

by Sophie Evan on September 28, 2011

The Yukon Kuskokwim Regional Advisory Council, or Y-K RAC, will be meeting to discuss fish and wildlife regulation changes this week. The Y-K RAC operates under the Alaska Native Claims Interest Lands Act, or ANILCA, which has ten regional councils statewide. Their job is to send recommendations to the Federal Subsistence Board who has the final authority to act on changes made to federal hunting and fishing regulations.

The Y-K RAC will have two days to go over eighteen (18) proposals. Four of them have statewide ramifications, twelve (12) are regional to the Yukon and Kuskokwim delta, and two are considered crossover proposals.

A statewide proposal will address requirements for handicrafts made from bear claws. They will also redefine who a designated hunter can hunt for, and discuss animals caught in traps that are not the targeted species.

The twelve (12) regional requests vary from revising hunting season dates, and harvest limits of ptarmigan and lynx, to limiting use of aircraft in a controlled use area. There is a new proposal for Unit 18 that allow a hunter to use a boat under power to harvest moose and to close sport hunting along the Yukon River. One of the crossover proposals involves revising an area descriptor.

The Y-K RAC will also hear reports from Federal and State Managers on subsistence fisheries issues, and a review of the 2012 Y-K fisheries monitoring program. Various agencies and organizations also have time on the agenda to give updates to the Y-K RAC. They include; the office of subsistence management, the Yukon Delta and Togiak Refuges, B-L-M, A-V-C-P, municipal governments, ANCSA corporations, and the Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association, to name a few.

The two-day Y-K RAC meeting will begin on Thursday the 29th at 9 a-m, and end on Friday the 30th at 5 p-m. Their meeting will be held at the Bethel Moravian Church Fellowship Hall. Public comments are welcomed for each agenda item. Anyone wishing to be heard must fill out a testimony form in order to be called on by the chair. Time limits are given in order to stay on schedule.

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