Browsing University of Alaska Fairbanks by Subject "Kuskokwim River"
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Equitable co-management on the Kuskokwim RiverA legally empowered equitable co-management system of the Kuskokwim River salmon fishery between subsistence users and state and federal managers does not exist. Despite federal legislation Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) (Section 8) calling for a "meaningful role" for subsistence users in managing fish and game on federal lands, some rural subsistence users believe that they have yet to assume a "meaningful role" in the policy-making process. The absolute maximum capacity that subsistence users can fulfill in terms of participating in the management of the resources they depend on comes in the form of one of many advisory boards. Ultimately, management regimes and policymakers do not have to consider advisory council member recommendations, suggestions and/or group proposals. On the Kuskokwim River, the decline of king salmon, perceived mismanagement, general mistrust of management agencies, inter-river conflict, and lack of authority and accountability felt by local users, has prompted some subsistence salmon fishermen to press for a stronger role in salmon management. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Kuskokwim River Inter Tribal Fish Commission (KRITFC) have developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) pertaining to the management of the fishery. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) has not entered into negotiations with the KRITFC and United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) regarding management. This thesis explores the history of the Kuskokwim salmon fishery and options available to Alaska Native subsistence salmon users who seek an equitable role in managing the fishery.