North Slope Borough and state officials have signed a memorandum of understanding to work cooperatively on issues related to fish and wildlife, with a goal of giving area residents more influence on subsistence resources they depend on.
North Slope Borough Mayor Harry Brower said these subsistence resources were vital to village residents at times during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly when air travel was halted. Enhancing the communication, coordination and collaboration between the borough and Alaska Department of Fish and Game is an important step in this process, Brower said.
“It is more imperative now than ever to look for ways to enhance cooperation on common issues facing us,” said Fish and Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang. “This includes how marine mammals, which are important subsistence resources to residents of the NSB, are managed under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.”
The MOU, online at cdv.tiny.us/mou, includes an agreement to identify opportunities to collaborate on issues associated with migratory stocks including caribou, marine mammals and waterfowl.
The MOU also calls for identifying opportunities to collaborate on research and monitoring, including assessment of subsistence uses by borough residents and mitigation of ay impacts occurring to those uses.