Senator Lisa Murkowski held a listening session on subsistence in Glennallen yesterday (Thursday). The meeting followed an a similar meeting in Bethel last month. Murkowski says the issues raised in Glennallen were different from those voiced in Bethel.
“Really focused to a great degree on access to game, access to areas to harvest game. I heard very, very clearly, concerns about trespass on Native lands. I heard very, very clearly, the complications that present themselves with a dual management system, between the federal system and the state system and how complicated it then becomes.”
Senator Murkowski says that’s different than in Bethel, where comments were targeted on chronically weak king salmon returns to the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers. She says most of the comments in Glennallen were from Ahtna area Native people, and there was some concern about competitions for resources.
“As we see more and more hunters coming from the urban centers to come out into the Ahtna region, the pressure on the game and the availability of the moose, of the caribou. How then, the Native people who, again, live in that area, whose lands are there, feel that there has been increased hunting presssure that has made access to game more difficult.”
Murkowski says locals residents said the situation is complicated by a puzzle of state and federal jurisdiction. The listening sessions on subsistence were committed to by Senator Murkowski during the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention last fall. The senator says the next step is to take what she heard in Bethel and Glennallen back to a Senate committee for formal gearing at the end of the summer.