Why It Matters: From sled teams visiting trapping lines deep in the Alaskan tundra, to hunting and fishing camps accessed by small planes, the rugged sportsmen and women venturing out into the Alaskan wilderness have long played a vital role in the state’s history and industry. As has already occurred in many states, development and regulations are slowly creeping in and becoming a limiting factor to participation in these time-honored traditions in Alaska. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has joined legislators and our partner organizations to find ways to protect sportsmen’s interests for the present and into the future.
- Late last month, the Outdoor Heritage Foundation of Alaska brought legislators and sportsmen together for their annual Sportsmen’s Rendezvous to discuss current issues; including reductions in sportsmen’s access to public land, and new rules restricting recreation.
- The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s Senior Coordinator, Northwest States, Marie Neumiller attended the weekend’s events, engaging in important conversations about representing and protecting sportsmen’s interests to improve access and protect traditions.
- During the riveting event, the Alaska Trapper’s Association brought history to life with hunting films from the 1930’s that they have preserved with the help of Alaska’s Film Archive.
Hunting, fishing, and trapping were on full display in Alaska recently during a weekend filled with history, current events, and future planning. Hosted by several partner non-profit organizations, these meetings and events highlighted the importance of our time-honored traditions.
First, at the Pizza Man in Eagle River, the Alaska Trapper’s Association (ATA) hosted their “Old-Timey Alaska Hunting Movie Night.” The ATA shared four movies from the 1930’s preserved by the Alaskan Film Archives. These silent films documented hunting, fishing, and trapping expeditions deep in the wilderness of Alaska. At the conclusion of these films ATA president, Randy Zarnke, shared current concerns and issues being faced by trappers. Of note are overly restrictive trapper cabin permits with the Bureau of Land Management, and trapping bans being attempted through local ordinances.
That conversation continued at the Sportsmen’s Rendezvous, facilitated by Jennifer Yuhas of the Outdoor Heritage Foundation of Alaska. The Rendezvous brought together representatives from ten non-profit groups, employees of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and members of the Alaska State Legislature. Among those legislators was State Senator David Wilson, a member of the Executive Council of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses. Participants spent the day in conversations around current sportsmen’s issues and future planning. Attendees also centered around discussed access concerns, like the Federal Subsistence Boardthe sale of state land to private entities blocking access to freshwater fisheries, as well as regulations that limit participation like restrictions within boroughs.
Wrapping up the weekend was a celebration of all things outdoors with the annual Alaska Outdoorsman Banquet. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation had representatives at all the weekend’s events engaging in these important conversations to represent and protect sportsmen’s interests throughout the state of Alaska. You can count on CSF to continue working with legislators and our partners to ensure that hunting, fishing, and trapping remain an important part of Alaska’s history and future.