Published October 2018
By: Kevin Bartley, Social Scientist, AITRC
The Ahtna Intertribal Resource Commission (AITRC) Fishery Program works to ensure that our fish, waters, and people remain healthy. Program goals include: 1) Building and strengthening relationships with federal, state, tribal, and local partners; 2) Improving Copper River Fisheries Management; and 3) Increasing Ahtna Peoples’ involvement and meaningful participation in fisheries management.
We engage in monitoring and management of all fisheries within the Ahtna Traditional Use Area. This is achieved by closely communicating and collaborating with our tribes and federal, state, and local partners. We prepare and present regulatory proposals at Federal Subsistence Board and Alaska Board of Fisheries meetings. AITRC staff also attend and participate at Southcentral and Eastern Interior Regional Advisory Council and Copper Basin and Tok Cutoff/Nabesna Road State Local Advisory meetings. Training is provided in communities across the Ahtna Region to improve tribal and rural residents’ understanding of and meaningful participation in federal and state subsistence management programs.
We are working diligently with Ahtna Tribes, the Wrangell St. Elias National Parks Service, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to establish a more inclusive, pragmatic, and responsible management framework for Copper River Fisheries. Ensuring that Ahtna and Copper River Basin Peoples have a meaningful role in fisheries management planning and decision-making is critical to our shared future. Representatives of the subsistence, sport, commercial, environmental, and federal and state stakeholder groups will be invited to a Copper River Fisheries Search Conference planned for November 1-3, 2018. Participants will work together to discuss and develop a shared vision and plan for Copper River Fisheries. Establishing an ongoing management partnership among all stakeholder groups will be a key goal.