Court Ruling Bans Nelchina Hunt Permits

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Despite another change in a court ruling Wednesday, some aspects of the Nelchina caribou hunt will go forward.  Last week, the state Board of Game followed a directive from District Judge Carl Bauman and allowed modified fall caribou and moose hunting in the Nelchina area. Judge Bauman had ruled in July that the Ahtna Community hunt and the Tier One subsistence hunt were illegal.  At the request of the State Department of Fish and Game, Judge Bauman issued a partial stay to the July 9 ruling prohibiting the hunts, which allowed the department to restore the autumn portion of the Tier One hunt. The department then issued an additional 500 permits to those who had held Ahtna Community hunt tags.  Bruce Dale is Region 4 supervisor for Fish and Game.

Fish and Game planned to issue 1,000 permits for the Tier One hunt, based on revised estimates of the strength of the Nelchina herd. Today, Judge Bauman canceled the extra permits, at the request of plaintiffs in the original suit.

But Ken John, Athna CEO, disputed the stay of the judge’s original ruling.

John says Ahtna is reviewing options and may ask the state Supreme Court to allow the subsistence law, by returning to Tier Two hunts. Dale says the original 850 permits are still good and will be available Friday.

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