regulations

Federal Subsistence Board

Moose Pass residents could be allowed to practice subsistence harvesting on federal lands, since the Federal Subsistence Board designated the town of 240 as a “rural” community. 

Alaskans in federally designated “rural” communities are allowed to practice priority-use subsistence hunting and fishing on federal lands under the Federal Subsistence Management Program.

Up until now, Moose Pass was grouped with Seward in what was called the “Seward Nonrural Area.” Moose Pass residents who wanted to practice subsistence harvesting had to go through the state and couldn’t subsistence harvest on lands managed by the federal government.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Nearly 70 people weighed in on proposed changes to Kenai National Wildlife Refuge regulations during a series of public hearings last week. That’s on top of more than 44,000 written comments the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has received on the matter to date.

Most who testified spoke in opposition to the proposal, taking particular issue with changes that would permit brown bear baiting where black bear baiting is already allowed and reversing restrictions on trapping by trailheads. Those who spoke in favor advocated aligning state and federal refuge policies on hunting in the refuge.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service presentation

The third in three hearings about proposed Kenai National Wildlife Refuge changes has been canceled with no explanation.

An outpouring of concern for proposed refuge regulation alterations — which would change how the refuge handles trapping and bear baiting, among other policies — prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to hold a public hearing. The service added two additional hearings when space for public comment filled up. 

Around 115 commenters were slated to speak at last night’s hearing, held on Zoom, though only 22 ended up showing up to testify — two in favor of the rule changes and 20 against. Dozens of others attended the meeting as listeners.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

A public hearing on proposed Kenai National Wildlife Refuge regulation changes has been extended over three days, due to hundreds signing up for a slot to comment.

From Monday to Wednesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is holding hearings on proposed changes to refuge policies that would open the refuge up to trapping without a federal permit, allow for hunting brown bears over bait in areas where baiting is already allowed for black bears, and allow for the discharge of firearms along areas of the Kenai and Russian Rivers in the fall and winter, among other changes.

Courtesy of Mike Amos

Electronic bikes — or e-bikes — occupy a sort of purgatory when it comes to outdoor recreation — not motorcycles but not really traditional bicycles, either.

Their place on trails is also in the gray zone. Several federal agencies classify pedal-assist e-bikes within the “bicycle” category, so they’re permitted where bikes are allowed. The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, which is managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, allows both bikes and e-bikes on roads and the new multi-use trail in Soldotna, while prohibiting both on all other trails. The Kenai Fjords National Park, under the National Park Service, functions similarly.

Here on the peninsula, pedal-assist e-bikes are allowed on Tsalteshi Trails, in Soldotna. In Anchorage, they’re permitted on all bike paths as of 2016.

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