• A history and analysis of the efforts of the Ahtna people of South-Central Alaska to secure a priority to hunt moose on their ancestral lands

      Schacht, Eric; Todd, Susan; Holen, Davin; Fix, Peter (2015-08)
      The purpose of this study is to document the decades-long struggle of the Ahtna people of south-central Alaska to secure the priority to hunt moose in their ancestral lands. The study details the changes in moose hunting regulations in Game Management Unit 13 from the first permit hunt in 1960 to the current era as well as the changes in the number of hunters, number of moose harvests, and success of hunters by area of residence (local vs. non-local). This study summarizes changes in regulations regarding rural preference for subsistence hunters and the court cases challenging those provisions. It outlines the strategies the Ahtna have used over the years to try to secure a priority to hunt moose. It also discusses the importance of moose hunting to the culture of the Ahtna people and the cultural impacts of changes in subsistence harvest regulations. The results demonstrate that under the current management and regulatory structure, Ahtna people and other local residents of the Copper Basin are not getting enough moose and they persistently feel the pressure from non-local hunters. The Ahtna counter this by continually engaging the natural resource management and regulatory process, maintaining subsistence lifestyles, and increasing their wildlife management capacity so that in the future they will have more moose on their land and a greater ability to control this important aspect of their culture. The study also provides recommendations regarding future subsistence moose hunting regulations in the region.