Public Hearings announced for Wildlife Special Action Request WSA17-03 to close Federal public lands in Unit 23 to caribou hunting by non-Federally qualified users

Three public hearings are scheduled for Nome, Kotzebue and Utqiagvik (Barrow) to discuss a Wildlife Special Action Request received by the Federal Subsistence Board (Board). Wildlife Special Action Request WSA17-03, submitted by the Northwest Arctic Subsistence Regional Advisory Council, requests that the Board close Federal public lands in Unit 23 to caribou hunting to all but Federally qualified subsistence users for the July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018 regulatory year.  

Last edited 02/16/2022
Contact Information

Chris McKee

(907) 786-3572 or (800) 478-1456

The Western Arctic Caribou Herd (WACH), a vital subsistence resource, has declined over 50% since 2003.  The Board closed caribou hunting in Unit 23 to non-Federally qualified users for the 2016–2017 regulatory year to allow for the continuation of subsistence uses and for conservation of a healthy caribou population.  The proponent states that the 2016–2017 closure helped Federally qualified subsistence users by decreasing user conflicts and increasing their food security.  The intent of this request is to ensure Federally qualified subsistence users get the caribou they need in the 2017–2018 regulatory year, to protect the WACH, and to reduce user conflicts. 

The public may attend the hearing in person or by teleconference. Public testimony provided at the hearing will be summarized by Federal staff and provided to the Board for consideration.

Public Hearing information is below:


6:00-8:00 p.m., May 3

Aurora Inn

302 Front Street, Nome, Alaska  99762

Teleconference: TOLL FREE (888) 455-5897

Passcode: 3344290


6:00-9:00 p.m., May 4

Northwest Arctic Heritage Center

171 Third Ave., Kotzebue, Alaska 99752

Teleconference: TOLL FREE (888) 455-5897

Passcode: 3344290

Utqiagvik (Barrow)

6:00-8:00 p.m., May 9

Inupiat Heritage Center

5421 North Star Street, Barrow, Alaska 99723

Teleconference: TOLL FREE (888) 455-5897

Passcode: 3344290

The Federal Subsistence Board is committed to providing access to this hearing for all participants. Please direct all requests for sign language interpreting services, closed captioning, or other accommodation needs to the Office of Subsistence Management by calling (800) 478-1456, by emailing, If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.

Additional information on the Federal Subsistence Management Program may be found on the web at or by visiting

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