Changes to CIRI’s Recreational Use Permitting Policy

Kenai Peninsula moose and bear hunting permits now available exclusively to CIRI shareholders and descendants

In April, CIRI met with many of its village corporations, several of which raised concerns about declining moose populations on the Kenai Peninsula.

The majority of CIRI surface estate on the Kenai Peninsula is located within State of Alaska Game Management Unit (GMU) 15, which encompasses the Cook Inlet villages of Ninilchik, Salamatof and Seldovia. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, moose populations in the GMU peaked in the early 1990s and have since significantly declined; the population currently falls below the State’s management objective. CIRI’s Land and Resources department has also witnessed unauthorized bear hunters employing unsporting methods of hunting.

Many CIRI shareholders and descendants who practice subsistence rely on the Kenai Peninsula’s bear and moose population to feed their families. Therefore, effective May 1, 2020, bear and moose hunting access permits will only be granted to CIRI shareholders and their descendants.

CIRI shareholder Richard “Greg” Encelewski, president and CEO of Ninilchik Natives Association, Inc. (NNAI), said he is “100% supportive” of CIRI’s decision. “NNAI used to issue up to 200 hunting permits for non-shareholders, but the moose population got so decimated over the years that we went down to 100 non-shareholder permits, then 50, and now none,” he said. “CIRI’s land is so intertwined with ours; hunters are on our land all the time without knowing it. We’re really happy CIRI decided to limit hunting permits to its shareholders and descendants. With COVID and food security becoming an issue, it’s more important than ever.”

One of CIRI’s corporate values is respect, which includes respect for the land and promoting responsible stewardship of CIRI resources. The company prioritizes the use of its land by shareholders and descendants for cultural, subsistence and recreational activities. When the activities are consistent with CIRI values, it may also provide access opportunities to the general public. For more information, including a CIRI land permit request, visit