What, if any, are the medium- and long-term planning strategies for remote Eskimo villages?
"Alaska Village Grapples With Collapse in Walrus Harvest: Residents rush to find alternate sources of food before winter" (WSJ article)
WSJ Slideshow @above article gives a quality visual perspective:
Snippets:Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell declared an economic disaster for Gambell and its sister village of Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island, freeing up more state resources such as possible grants to help the stricken communities.
State and federal marine experts, meanwhile, say the collapse of the walrus harvest is another example of how wild weather is altering life in native villages like these that still follow a subsistence lifestyle. Rick Thoman, a climatologist with the National Weather Service in Fairbanks, said the Arctic's warming climate is likely to make it harder for such villages to catch enough walruses and other prey animals and fish, which scientists say are likely to fall in number in coming years due to diminished ice.Other towns in Alaska have offered to donate reindeer and fish, but tribal officials say that wouldn't be enough to offset the shortage.Many Eskimos here depend on sales of walrus ivory carvings to supplement their incomes.The reduced ice protection from ocean storms has resulted in so much coastal erosion that some villages have laid plans to relocate to drier ground. State officials said the climate-change threat comes on top of others, including rising fuel costs.
"They've had to adapt to other changes," said Larry Hartig, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. "Will they be able to adapt this time?"More people, meanwhile, are turning to the Gambell Native Store for food, where a four-pound fryer chicken costs $25.