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Unalaska Hosts Subsistence RAC Meeting For The First Time Ever

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Office of Subsistence Management

For the first time ever, Unalaska is hosting the group that guides federal subsistence rules in Southwest Alaska. 

Since it formed in the 1990s, the Kodiak/Aleutians Subsistence Regional Advisory Council has met mostly in Kodiak and Cold Bay.

But next week, the Council will gather at the Grand Aleutian Hotel for a two-day discussion of hunting and fishing issues around the region.

Karen Deatherage is a Council Coordinator with the Office of Subsistence Management. She said the time was finally right for Unalaska to host one of the biannual meetings, especially as the community is holding an?other major event.

"Because the Aleutian Life Forum is occurring the same week, we thought this would be a tremendous opportunity for the Council to meet in Dutch Harbor," she said. "They can attend the Forum so community members, tribal members, and the Council have an opportunity to meet face-to-face and talk about important subsistence issues in the area."

While speakers at Aleutian Life Forum will cover a wide span of science and conservation issues, the Council is focusing on specific subsistence policies.

"We're going to have reports from the Izembek and Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuges," said Deatherage. "There's also a draft proposed emperor goose hunt, which a lot of people in the region have been waiting for."

The Council is also working on a policy that lays out how communities designate themselves as rural or non-rural, which affects subsistence regulations. Their meeting will also include a presentation from the Fisheries Resource Monitoring Program, which funds research on federal fisheries.

"We're aware that there are some issues on Unalaska where people would like to get more data and information — both on the biological side and harvest," said Deatherage. "So there might be an opportunity for the folks in Unalaska to apply for funding for those research projects."

The Kodiak/Aleutians Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet at the Grand Aleutian Hotel on August 15-16.

Community members are encouraged to attend, and there will be time for public comments each day. The public can also join the meeting by telephone at 1-866-820-9854 with passcode 4801802.

Laura Kraegel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2020. She was KUCB's news director starting in 2019.
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