Kuskokwim River Inter Tribal Fisheries Commission steering committee members hear from AVCP attorney Sky Starkey. (Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK)Efforts to establish tribal co-management of Kuskokwim salmon are slowly progressing. A steering committee is in Bethel to sketch out the future of who regulates the river. Kuskokwim fishermen are eager to be managers, instead of simply advisers.Download Audio10 members of a steering committee met for the first time in Bethel Thursday. Fisherman from Nikolai at the headwaters down to the mouth began to define what they want to see in tribal co-management. Committee member Bob Aloysius from Kalskag emphasized tribes need to be more than simply advisers.“Recommendations to go a point, and nothing happens. We need to have authority to implement, maintain, monitor, and enforce whatever we come up with,” said Aloysius.The steering committee for the Kuskokwim River Intertribal Fisheries Commission is being facilitated by the Association of Village Council Presidents and Tanana Chiefs Conference, building off of tribal resolutions passed last year. Kuskokwim king salmon runs have been in decline for several years and unprecedented restrictions have hit subsistence fishermen hard. That’s led to conflicts among communities along different parts of the river. Jacob Black from Napakiak said for tribal management to succeed, everyone has to be on board.“Our elders used to say, there may be a lot of people on the Kuskokwim or Alaska, but if you’re not united, you’re never going to accomplish nothing, that’s 100 percent true, to me. Right now we are not united,” said Black.The full commission someday would include representatives from all Kuskokwim tribes choosing to take part. The smaller steering committee is trying to determine next steps and outline the mission and goal. They elected Bob Aloysius and Mike Williams as interim co-chairs while more members are expected to join. The long-term vision in some capacity includes equal footing among tribes, state and federal managers.In the meantime, a federal demonstration project for co-management could build capacity for the change. Gene Peltola Junior, the assistant regional director for the Federal Office of Subsistence Management described a possible new committee under the federal subsistence board. He says if it’s structured properly it could have more input.“But if they were to give it weighted opinion, or whatever you call it, I truly feel the local individual would have a lot more say in management than they have had in the past,” said Peltola Junior.Sky Starkey, an attorney who works for AVCP presented a vision of how the committee could push the boundary of the law in order to maximize co-management potential.To give it teeth, Starkey says tribes should seek broad application of a section of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, or ANILCA, that governs subsistence on federal lands. That would force the federal board to defer to their committee’s plan, unless the proposal fails to meet strict criteria.“Trying to use that and trying to strengthen it so the recommendations carry a lot of weight,” said Starkey.One idea is to create a new regional advisory council that replaces the fish responsibilities of two current regional committees. In the very preliminary conception, tribes would make comprehensive management plans and take responsibility for researching and monitoring fish, while giving traditional knowledge equal footing.The meeting continues Friday at the cultural center in Bethel. A meeting for Yukon tribes is scheduled for next week in Fairbanks.
Facebook Comments An international outdoor fitness event for women organized by Roxy, RUNSUPYOGA, is coming to Costa Rica this weekend. The contest includes three different disciplines: Running, standup paddle, and yoga.This year the event has already taken place at paradisiacal beaches in Australia, Hawaii, Indonesia, Japan, Spain, France, Germany, England, Panama, the United States and Canada. This November 21-22, it’s Playa Herradura’s turn, in Puntarenas.The event will be hosted by Los Sueños Marriott Hotel. It will include with a 4-kilometer run along the golf course, ending at the beach; a 1-km trip on a standup paddle board; and a 60-minute yoga class by Krama Yoga Center in the hotel’s gardens.The contest expects to host approximately 125 women from all around the country.Inscription costs $25, which includes the competition kit — hat, backpack, number, and yoga mat— as well as insurance, medical assistance, and a professional yoga instructor.A surfboard and award certificates worth more than $2,000, exchangeable for products at Mango and Arenas stores, will be raffled among the participants.For more information, visit the ROXY RUNSUPYOGA Costa Rica Website. Related posts:10 can’t-miss talks at this year’s TEDxPuraVida International Design Festival: How to organize a massive, successful event in Costa Rica Dining options for your New Year’s celebrations 2017 International Design Festival to feature wide range of guests