1978 Subsistence Act

Richard Caulfield:

"This act defined subsistence uses, established a subsistence priority and criteria to implement it, and created a socioeconomic research unit (later known as the Division of Subsistence) within the state's Dept. of Fish and Game to gather information about subsistence uses. The law did not specifically limit subsistence uses only to rural residents."

David Hullen of the Anchorage Daily News:

"The Alaska legislature ordered that subsistence hunting and fishing take priority over other uses of wild animals. When game supplies were adequate, any resident could qualify as a subsistence user. but it set down the principle that in times of scarcity only rural residents can be subsistence users. Federal law likewise says that only rural Alaska residents are entitled to subsistence priority. The 1978 law didn't bar urban hunters from subsistence, though regulations based on the law did."

Taylor Brelsford:

"The Alaska Legislature passed a statute defining subsistence as 'customary and traditional uses in Alaska of wild renewable resources,' established a subsistence priority in allocation of fish and game, established criteria for further distinctions between subsistence users if game populations made this necessary, and established a subsistence research program in the Department of Fish and Game."

Scott Ogan, Alaska State Legislature, House District 27: This first subsistence law which requires that subsistence uses be given a priority if necessary. The law defines subsistence as "customary and traditional uses" of fish and game for specific purposes such as food or clothing.


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