As Kuskokwim fishing lawsuit grows, lawyers say subsistence could be affected across Alaska

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A legal dispute between the U.S. government and the state of Alaska about subsistence fishing on the Kuskokwim River is growing, and a leading Native corporation says it could endanger subsistence hunting and fishing rights across Alaska.

In a filing this month, attorneys representing Ahtna Inc. said the state is arguing a position that — if upheld by a federal judge — could overturn the famed Katie John decisions that confirmed preferential subsistence hunting and fishing rights for rural Alaskans on federal lands and waters here.

“It’s a really big deal, and they’re kind of being sneaky about it,” said Anna Crary, an attorney representing Ahtna.

For years, state and federal

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