Today, the State of Alaska filed two preliminary injunctions in the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska against actions recently taken by the Federal Subsistence Board. The first injunction would halt the unwarranted and unjustified closure of federal lands in Unit 13 to non-federally qualified hunters. The second injunction would prevent any additional special hunts to be opened under the guise of public safety.
“Management of Alaska’s fish and game resources has, and should always be, based on the best available science and sound management practices – that is what makes the decisions by the Federal Subsistence Board so problematic”, said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “These are clear violations of ANILCA and our constitutional mandate that not only harms our ability to manage our resources, but has unjustly impaired the ability of thousands of Alaskans to fill their freezers.”
“These actions were made without proper justification over public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, represent a clear overreach, and infringe on the constitutional and statutory authority of the State of Alaska to manage its wildlife resources”, said ADF&G Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang. “At statehood and throughout ANILCA, Congress recognized the State as a world-respected fish and wildlife management agency with staff experienced in evaluating the health and sustainability of harvests. The actions we are challenging are not based on sound science, are unjustified intrusions into state authorities, and violate federal law. We will fight to preserve our right to manage for all Alaskans.”
In addition to filing the preliminary injunctions, the state also filed suit challenging these actions.