Subsistence Classification Lawsuit Status

The Chitina Dipnetters Association and the Alaska Outdoor Council’s sister organization, the Alaska Fish & Wildlife Conservation Fund, on January 9, 2009 filed a complaint with the Fairbanks Superior Court challenging the Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) recent decision to reject "subsistence" classification for the Chitina dipnet fishery.

The complaint charges that the BOF classification of the Chitina dipnet fishery as a personal use fishery ignores the customary and traditional (C&T) use of salmon stocks by dipnetters in the Chitina subdistrict of the Copper River. This C&T use is documented dating back to the 1800s and convinced the 1999 BOF to designate the Chitina dipnet fishery as a subsistence fishery.

Lawsuit summary and timeline

  1. The full press release outlining the motivation behind the lawsuit is available here.

  2. The CDA and AFWCF files a Complaint on January 9, 2009. The complaint is available here (PDF).

  3. The CDA and AFWCF filed a Motion for Summary Judgement on March 12, 2009. The Motion is available here (PDF).

  4. The State of Alaska filed an Opposition for Motion for Summary Judgement on May 4, 2009. Their Opposition paper is available here (PDF).

  5. Ahtna Regional Native Corporation has requested to intervene on the States side, but as of yet the Judge has not ruled to allow their intervention.

  6. The CDA and AFWCF replied to the State's Opposition to our Motion for Summary Judgement on May 19, 2009. Read the reply here (PDF).

  7. More news will be made available as the lawsuit progresses.

Your contribution to our legal fund will help ensure a successful outcome to this lawsuit. Please visit our Donations page to make your contribution to ensuring private citizens retain the ability to legally harvest salmon to feed themselves.

Not a member of the Chitina Dipnetters Association, yet? We accept new member sign-ups all the time. For details, please visito our Membership page for more information.