Subsistence RACs meet twice per year. Council members can help shape policies on subsistence use in their areas.
The deadline to apply for positions on the 2016 Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils is January 23. Carl Johnson, the Council Coordination Chief at the Office of Subsistence Management, says interest to serve on the councils across the state has been waning over the past few years:
It's kind of a mystery, but we've seen a steady decline of about thirty percent," said Johnson. "It may just be a matter of finding the right way to reach people out in rural Alaska."
Johnson has been posting notifications on Facebook groups and doing interviews to help get the word out about the RACs and the deadlines to apply.
This year’s members were just seated in December.
Much like local Advisory Committees that bring proposals to the state boards of fish and game, the Regional Advisory Council members can play a major part in shaping subsistence use and regulations:
"We like to call it a bottom up subsistence management process, where it's actually the users who drive the regulatory process," said Johnson. "Individuals can submit proposals to change the harvest methods and means or seasons for for fish and wildlife. The Regional Advisory Councils hear those proposals, and they make recommendations to the federal Subsistence Board. In recent years, the Board is agreeing with those Councils about 90 percent of the time."
The Subsistence RACs meet twice per year, once in late winter and again in late fall. The meetings are typically two days long, with travel and expenses paid for the members.
The deadline to apply for a seat is January 23. Click here for more information and the application packet.