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YUKON FLATS: Fish & Wildlife Service and Athabascans Reach Historic Funding Agreement
10 Region, May 4, 2004
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Region 7 has signed an annual funding agreement with the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments for work on the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge. The Yukon Flats Refuge is the third largest refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Council is a recognized consortium acting on behalf of the ten Indian tribes of the Yukon Flats. Regional Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System-Alaska Todd Logan signed the agreement for the regional director in Washington on April 30, 2004. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton participated in the ceremony and endorsed and accepted the agreement. Randy Mayo, First Chief of Stevens Village, Alaska, and chairman, signed for the Council. Refuge Manager Ted Heuer also participated in the ceremony.

After reaching an agreement last December, the parties held two meetings in Alaska (Fairbanks & Anchorage) in March to explain the agreement and solicit comments from the public. The agreement provides for the Council to perform $59,000 of work on the Refuge in 2004-2005. Information on the agreement is posted on the Region 7 website. The public comment period began February 13, 2004 and ended April 13, 2004. After reviewing 147 public comments, the Service re-negotiated with the Council and changed some of the wording of the agreement. Secretary Norton forwarded the signed agreement to Congress for a for ninety day review provided by regulation. Inaction or approval by Congress will make this the first agreement of its kind in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Title IV of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, P.L. 93-638 enables tribal governments to enter into annual funding agreements with bureaus of the Department of the Interior, including the Service. For further information regarding the tentative annual funding agreement, please contact Refuge Manager Ted Heuer, (907) 456-0407, or ted_heuer@fws.gov.

Contact Info: Kevin Painter, , kevin_painter@fws.gov



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