Subsistence Lawsuit Update

After a valiant fight by the Chitina Dipnetters Association and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Fund to return the Chitina Dipnet Fishery (CDF) to subsistence classification, in early December 2012 the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the CDF did not meet Alaska state subsistence criteria and would remain a “Personal Use Fishery” with no priority over the commercial harvest of Copper River salmon. The Justices ruled that the regulation cited by the Board of Fisheries in its 2003 decision (returning Personal Use status to the fishery) was consistent with its authorizing statutes, is reasonable and not arbitrary, does not violate the Alaska Constitution's equal access provisions and was constitutionally applied when the Board made its customary and traditional use finding for the Chitina fishery in 2003.

Thank you to all the dipnetters who supported us financially in this lawsuit. We just wish it had been a better outcome!