Alaskan Natives suing to manage endangered sea otters

(I'm a little late with this news.)

According to a 2010 report, six Native Alaskan villages say the federal government is denying them a voice in how sea otter are managed under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The citizens of these villages engage in "subsistence and cultural hunting of sea otter." The Alaska Sea Lion Otter and Steller Sea Lion Commission and the six villages accuse the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of breach of trust.

Since 1998, the Commission and six representatives of native villages have balanced federal protections for endangered sea otters with native Alaskans' reliance on the species for subsistence and cultural preservation. The Commission, which represents 50 federally recognized tribes, says it can no longer co-manage the defendant Fish and Wildlife Service's mission, because it has been excluded by the FWS' independent adoption of new, "unproven" policies that should require "unanimity among tribal organizations" as a condition of funding.

The plaintiffs say the Fish and Wildlife Service has undermined a longstanding "government-to-government" relationship, violating tribal sovereignty. They want the feds enjoined "from creating, fostering, or sponsoring new organizations for the co-management of marine mammals," ordered to consult tribal governments or their representatives before "taking action that will have a negative effect on the governmental authority of Tribes over subsistence use of marine mammals by its members."

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One Response to Alaskan Natives suing to manage endangered sea otters

  1. taxi olsztyn says:

    nice post i never read about Alaskan Natives now i know more 🙂

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