Two moose graze on the roadside east of Haines Junction in May 2017. The Teslin Tlingit Council announced Aug. 1 it will continue to restrict moose harvest on its traditional territory and settlement lands. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News file)

Teslin Tlingit Council restricts moose hunt due to overhunting concerns

The TTC will not be issuing access permits to non-citizens for it settlement lands

The Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC) will once again restrict moose harvesting on its traditional territory and settlement lands this hunting season due to concerns about overharvesting.

The Yukon First Nation made the announcement in press release Aug. 1.

The restrictions are the result of a motion TTC passed at its annual general assembly last month.

TTC is asking its citizens to continue to comply with voluntary harvest restrictions, which include limiting harvest to one moose per household and not hunting in certain areas at all. It will also not be issuing access permits to its settlement lands to non-citizens effective immediately, essentially eliminating the possibility of non-citizens hunting moose in those areas.

According to the press release, the TTC is “very concerned” about the overharvesting of moose of its traditional territory, and TTC elders say that the moose population has been “decreasing for a number of years.”

“We take our role as stewards of the land seriously. This means ensuring that our future generations can also enjoy fishing and hunting,” TTC Chief Richard Sidney said in the press release. “Conservation is not only a priority but a duty for the TTC.”

Sidney did not return a request for comment before deadline.

The TTC is asking citizens to register their moose harvests with the Department of Lands and Resources to help with data collection and moose management.

TTC has previously restricted moose harvests before over conservation concerns. The first time it stopped issuing access permits to non-citizens was in 2008, and TTC citizens faced similar voluntary restrictions in 2011.

In an interview Aug. 2, Environment Yukon spokesperson Roxanne Stasyszyn said that while the department does have conservation concerns about moose populations located in the TTC’s traditional territory — in particular, the South Canol and Cassiar Mountains areas — it is not restricting the licenced harvest of moose this season.

“We are working with Teslin Tlingit Council to gather more information, that’s including harvest data and population census surveys, to inform any potential intervention that may be required to keep harvest sustainable,” she said, adding that staff from both governments meet “frequently” to discussion fish and wildlife management.

Four hunting subzones located along the South Canol Road are also subject to special reporting requirements for moose harvest this season, Stasyszyn said, a project that’s being done in partnership with the TTC to get more data on harvest pressures in specific areas.

Environment Yukon’s last moose population survey that encompassed the TTC’s traditional territory was done in 2010. That survey, of the Nisutlin South area, found that the number of bulls compared to cows was only half of what it was 25 years earlier. More recent moose population surveys have overlapped with portions of TTC’s traditional territory and show mixed results — 2013 surveys of the South Canol and Cassiar Mountains areas found that moose harvest levels at that point were not sustainable.

However, a 2011 survey of the M’Clintock area, the eastern part of which overlaps with TTC traditional territory, found that harvesting numbers were sustainable and that there had been a slight increase in the moose population, while a 2013 survey of the Teslin Burns area showed that the moose population had declined slightly but that harvest appeared to be sustainable.

The numbers are just “one piece of the pie” when it comes to management though, Stasyszyn said.

“Scientific data, together with traditional and on-the-land knowledge as well as First Nation concerns, they all play a role in guiding management decisions like whether harvest restrictions should be put in place,” she said.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Yukon’s Anglican bishop delivers apology on site of former Carcross residential school

Bishop Larry Robertson read the apology during a canoe stretching ceremony on July 20.

Elsa, Keno under evacuation alert

The Shanghai Creek wildfire is about seven kilometres east of Elsa.

What should Whitehorse focus on in 2020?: City releases ‘Citizen Budget’

Residents can tinker with how they would spend property taxes

Yukon government asks court to put Wolverine mine into receivership

The Yukon government filed a petition against Yukon Zinc Corporation July 17.

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Good weather and a three-peat highlight another year of Dustball

“It wasn’t bright sunshine, but it wasn’t raining, so it was great that way.”

This week at Whitehorse City Hall

Some of the key moves made at the July 15 council meeting

Revelling in the revving of engines: Klondike Cruisers host autocross event

July 7 at the Takhini arena, automobile enthusiasts from around the Yukon… Continue reading

Yukonomist: Riverdale time capsule

There was a newspaper from 1980 hidden in the wall

Most Read