Tribe wants subsistence declaration
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The Sitka Tribe of Alaska said it will ask Secretary of Interior Gale Norton to declare the marine waters around the Tongass National Forest as a subsistence area.

The tribe says the designation would protect their traditional fishing grounds. The Federal Subsistence Board did agree to exclude unqualified sport fishermen from a lake used by the tribe.

But a senior U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official says the case on marine waters is hard to prove. Tom Boyd, assistant regional director for subsistence management, said it must be shown that the ocean activities are causing harm to federal waterways before Norton would take action.

Norton was paid by the Republican-controlled Alaska Legislature to fight the subsistence rights of Alaska Native elder Katie John. As a result, Norton has recused herself from those particular subsistence issues.

Get the Story:
Feds stop short of marine waters subsistence rule (The Anchorage Daily News 12/13)

Relevant Links:
Subsistence Amendment, Alaska Governor Tony Knowles -
Native subsistence rights, Native American Rights Fund -
Alaska Federation of Natives -
Katie John et al. v. State of Alaska -

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Alaska lawmakers miss Katie John appea (10/15)
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Alaska subsistence panel meets (9/25)
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More on Katie John:
Katie John case having effects (5/11)
Alaska Native subsistence case upheld (5/8)
Norton cutting old associations (1/25)
Norton's legal work criticized (1/12)
Alaska Native elder dies (12/4)