Kake granted emergency hunting request during pandemic

Kake Village Center
Kake photographed in 2012. (Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development; Division of Community and Regional Affairs’ Community Photo Library.)

The federal subsistence board approved a special hunting request on Monday that permits the Organized Village of Kake to harvest deer or moose out of season.

The tribal government expressed concern at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that grocery store shelves weren’t fully stocked with items like meat. Kake’s Tribal President also added he was worried about the health of village Elders.

Dave Schmid is the regional forester at the U.S. Forest Service Alaska region. He voted to approve the measure, which passed 7 to 1.

“I would say given the level of food insecurity that you heard from here facing this community, approving this special action — it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

Schmid said that he didn’t foresee any conservation issues related to wildlife population numbers in the vicinity of Kake.

The federal subsistence board has been handling multiple requests across the state. Some communities are worried about the impact of the pandemic on the food supply chain.

Earlier in the month, the agency tried to speed up that process by delegating local land managers to make the call. That process was stalled when a state emergency response group suggested there wasn’t a disruption in the food supply chain.

The Alaska Department of Fish & Game has yet to approve emergency hunting actions on state land.

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