Western Arctic Caribou Herd Cooperative Management Plan

— Approved in December of 2019 by the Western Arctic Herd Working Group in Anchorage, Alaska

Rangifer tarandus The Western Arctic Herd (WAH) is the largest of 32 identified caribou herds in Alaska. People from more than 40 small communities within the range of the herd, and other groups across the state, all use and value the herd. The WACH Cooperative Management Plan, revised in 2019, was written by the Western Arctic Caribou Herd Working Group (WACH WG) to outline goals, strategies and management actions for the WAH. The purpose of the plan is to work together to ensure the long-term conservation of the WAH and the ecosystem on which it depends to maintain traditional and other uses for the benefit of all people, now and in the future.

The 2019 WACH Cooperative Management Plan is a revision of the first plan developed by the WG in 2003. The revised plan has background information about the herd and 9 plan elements that address cooperation, population management, habitat, regulations, reindeer, knowledge, education, human activities and a changing climate, all in relation to the WAH.

The WG is a cooperative body, supported by agency staff, that meets regularly to exchange traditional and Western scientific information; to reach consensus on recommendations for research, monitoring, regulation, allocation and enforcement; to support education about the herd; and to foster communication among all who use or value these caribou. The WG was formed in 1999 and is represented by subsistence hunters from rural villages, sport hunters, conservationists, hunting guides, reindeer herders, and hunter transporters. Each stakeholder has direct interest, knowledge, and concern in the care and management of the WAH.

Download a pdf of the entire 2019 WACH WG Management Plan (PDF 3,489 kB).

Download a pdf of the entire 2011 WACH WG Management Plan (PDF 2,515 kB).

Download an archive of the 2003 WAH Management Plan (PDF 2,105 kB).