Alaska Gov. Dunleavy signs bill granting free fur-trapping licenses to disabled veterans

    The front of the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau is seen on Wednesday, April 12, 2023. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

    Juneau, Alaska (Alaska Beacon) - Ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Gov. Mike Dunleavy has signed legislation that allows disabled military veterans to receive a free fur-trapping license.

    Senate Bill 10, by Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, is intended to fix a gap in state law, Kiehl said. Disabled veterans were eligible for free hunting and sportfishing licenses, but they didn’t have access to the free trapping licenses that are available to Alaskans over 60 years old.

    “I thank the disabled veteran who brought me the idea,” Kiehl said Thursday, speaking from a remote cabin.

    “It’s a great thank you to veterans who are disabled,” he said, noting that active-duty members of the National Guard are also eligible for the free license.

    The proposal had universal support from veterans organizations and hunting/fishing groups within the state. It passed the state House and Senate by a combined total of 59-0, with one legislator excused absent.

    Between 2017 and 2020, the state issued an average of 827 trapping licenses per year, and the Department of Fish and Game expects few takers for the new licenses.

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