Rural determination hearing pits size vs. lifestyle

The federal subsistence board is taking another look at the criteria for deciding whether or not an Alaskan community is rural. Rural designation is a key step in granting subsistence priority to a community. Subsistence users, for instance, can harvest halibut on longlines, or dipnet sockeye, or hunt for deer after the closure of the sport season, if they live in a federally-designated rural community. Without it, residents have to follow sport rules and bag limits, which are typically much lower. At a hearing in Sitka late last month, residents testified unanimously in support of the community's "rural characteristics." Read More