Alaska Resource Management The Relationship between the Government and Alaskan Natives
AbstractI looked at relationships between Alaskan Natives and members of Fish and Game and the Forest Service in the context of resource management in Southeast Alaska. It is known that these relationships are often problematic, however most studies give only anecdotal speculations of why or focus on one stakeholders perspective. I took a grounded theory approach and spent three months in four different Alaskan communities over the summer of 2013. I gathered 20 interviews, observed two Fish and Game subsistence permit distributions, a Forest Service consultation, and did participant observation counting salmon as a contracted government worker through a Tribal entity for the Forest Service. My goal was to identify underlying patterns, problems and solutions. I identified three categories of conflict: limits and access to resources, bureaucratic problems, and personal relationship problems. I found that these conflicts are driven by access to scientific and bureaucratic information, general communication, and historical tension. All stakeholders wish to establish better relationships, address historical tension, and strengthen communication about bureaucratic and scientific topics. Streamlining science and bureaucratic information and making it more available through effective communication would help address the perpetuation of a collective memory and set the grounds for better co-management and building better relationships.
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