Senator seeks Alaska subsistence review

Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2011

ANCHORAGE — U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is seeking a congressional oversight hearing on subsistence management of federal lands in Alaska.

In a letter to leaders of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, the Alaska Democrat says a hearing would allow subsistence stakeholders to explore new ways of “ensuring sustainability of such an important way of life.”

Begich notes the federal government took over management in 1989 on what was supposed to be a temporary basis after Alaska state lawmakers failed to pass a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a rural subsistence preference.

Begich says the system is failing. His spokeswoman, Julie Hasquet, says there are “too many levels of management that are not coordinated.”

Begich notes that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in 2009 announced a review of federal subsistence management in Alaska.

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