JUNEAU, Alaska — An Alaska advisory council will recommend that federal regulators end the requirement for subsistence hunters to mark their traps with identifying numbers.
The Southeast Alaska Subsistence Regional Advisory Council approved a proposal on Thursday to align the regional trapping rules to the looser state rules that don’t require trap tags, the Juneau Empire reported .
“I see this as a bit of housekeeping to align us with state regulations,” council member Robert Schroeder said at the meeting.
The state Board of Game, which oversees non-subsistence hunting in Alaska, enacted the requirement for metal tags to be attached to traps in 2006. The action came after officials from the state Department of Public Safety and the state Department of Fish and Game raised concerns that traps lacking the tags would cause difficulty for authorities who enforce hunting regulations.
The state board then removed the requirement last year, saying that the tags did not prevent illegal trapping.
Officials from the federal Office of Subsistence Management have supported the council’s decision to get rid of the requirement for subsistence hunters because it now conflicts with the state rules. In most cases, trappers could avoid using the tags by claiming they were trapping under state guidelines and not the subsistence rules.
The council’s proposal still requires approval by the Federal Subsistence Board, which is scheduled to meet in April. If the board gives approval, the rule would go into effect in July.
Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com