For Immediate Release:
July 22, 2022
Under the authority of:

36 CFR §242.10 and .19

50 CFR §100.10 and .19
COPPER CENTER, AK – The Superintendent of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, under authority delegated by the Federal Subsistence Board, has issued an Emergency Special Action setting a harvest quota of zero and closing the Federal subsistence hunt for the Chisana Caribou Herd in a portion of Unit 12 for the 2022 season. The closure is for the purposes of conserving caribou populations, and the closed area is that portion of the unit that lies east of the Nabesna River and Glacier and south of the Winter Trail. The closure is effective Wednesday, August 10, at 12:01 a.m., and will remain in effect through Friday, September 30, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.
Last edited 07/28/2022
Contact Information
Carrie Wittmer
(907) 822-7255


The Federal subsistence harvest of the Chisana Caribou Herd is managed consistent with the 2012 Management Plan for the Chisana Caribou Herd. The management objectives for the herd focus on population indicators rather than a target herd size. Specific indicators used to determine whether harvest is sustainable are sex ratio and calf recruitment. If the population indicators fall below the set thresholds of a minimum sex ratio of 35 bulls to 100 cows and average three-year recruitment of 15 calves per 100 cows, the plan states that harvest will cease, and the management authorities will meet to discuss management options.

On June 9, 2022, representatives from the National Park Service (Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve), the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge), and Yukon Department of Environment met to discuss the 2022 harvest of the herd in light of the fact that the most recent three-year rolling average recruitment had fallen to 14 calves per 100 cows, which is below the minimum threshold identified in the management plan for sustainable harvest. After a robust discussion, the group agreed that the plan should be followed and that no harvest should take place in 2022.

Consequently, the Wrangell-St. Elias Superintendent, under authority delegated by the Federal Subsistence Board, is issuing an Emergency Special Action to set the 2022 harvest quota at zero and close the hunt for the 2022 season in order to conserve caribou populations. A population census is planned for October 2022, after which the management authorities will meet to discuss the results and make recommendations about whether to re-open harvest for the 2023 season.

For additional information, call Cultural Anthropologist/Subsistence Coordinator Barbara Cellarius at (907) 822-7236 or email her at barbara_cellarius@nps.gov.

Additional information on the Federal Subsistence Management Program may be found on the web at www.doi.gov/subsistence or by visiting www.facebook.com/subsistencealaska.

Missing out on the latest Federal subsistence issues? If you’d like to receive emails and notifications on the Federal Subsistence Management Program you may subscribe for regular updates by emailing fws-fsb-subsistence-request@lists.fws.gov.

View Full News Release

WSA 12-CCH-01-22


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