[Federal Register: August 23, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 164)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 54572-54574]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Forest Service

36 CFR Part 242


Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 100

Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska, 
Subpart D; Seasonal Adjustments--Redoubt Lake and Three Southeastern 
Alaska Lake Systems

AGENCIES: Forest Service, USDA; Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Seasonal adjustments.


SUMMARY: This provides notice of the Federal Subsistence Board's in-
season management actions to protect sockeye salmon escapement in three 
Southeastern Alaska lake systems and to

[[Page 54573]]

remove unnecessary restrictions on salmon harvest by non-Federally 
qualified users at Redoubt Lake. The fishing schedules and closures 
will provide an exception to the Subsistence Management Regulations for 
Public Lands in Alaska, published in the Federal Register on February 
7, 2002. Those regulations established seasons, harvest limits, 
methods, and means relating to the taking of fish and shellfish for 
subsistence uses during the 2002 regulatory year.

DATES: The Falls Lake, Salmon Lake, and Klag Bay Lake action is 
effective July 24, 2002, through August 31, 2002. The Redoubt Lake 
action is effective July 25, 2002, through September 21, 2002.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas H. Boyd, Office of Subsistence 
Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, telephone (907) 786-3888. 
For questions specific to National Forest System lands, contact Ken 
Thompson, Subsistence Program Manager, USDA--Forest Service, Alaska 
Region, telephone (907) 786-3592.



    Title VIII of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act 
(ANILCA) (16 U.S.C. 3111-3126) requires that the Secretary of the 
Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretaries) implement a 
joint program to grant a preference for subsistence uses of fish and 
wildlife resources on public lands in Alaska, unless the State of 
Alaska enacts and implements laws of general applicability that are 
consistent with ANILCA and that provide for the subsistence definition, 
preference, and participation specified in Sections 803, 804, and 805 
of ANILCA. In December 1989, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the 
rural preference in the State subsistence statute violated the Alaska 
Constitution and, therefore, negated State compliance with ANILCA.
    The Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture 
(Departments) assumed, on July 1, 1990, responsibility for 
implementation of Title VIII of ANILCA on public lands. The Departments 
administer Title VIII through regulations at Title 50, Part 100 and 
Title 36, Part 242 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Consistent 
with Subparts A, B, and C of these regulations, as revised January 8, 
1999, (64 FR 1276), the Departments established a Federal Subsistence 
Board to administer the Federal Subsistence Management Program. The 
Board's composition includes a Chair appointed by the Secretary of the 
Interior with concurrence of the Secretary of Agriculture; the Alaska 
Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the Alaska Regional 
Director, National Park Service; the Alaska State Director, Bureau of 
Land Management; the Alaska Regional Director, Bureau of Indian 
Affairs; and the Alaska Regional Forester, USDA Forest Service. Through 
the Board, these agencies participate in the development of regulations 
for Subparts A, B, and C, which establish the program structure and 
determine which Alaska residents are eligible to take specific species 
for subsistence uses, and the annual Subpart D regulations, which 
establish seasons, harvest limits, and methods and means for 
subsistence take of species in specific areas. Subpart D regulations 
for the 2002 fishing seasons, harvest limits, and methods and means 
were published on February 7, 2002, (67 FR 5890).
    Because this rule relates to public lands managed by an agency or 
agencies in both the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior, 
identical closures and adjustments would apply to 36 CFR part 242 and 
50 CFR part 100.
    The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), under the direction 
of the Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF), manages sport, commercial, 
personal use, and State subsistence harvest on all lands and waters 
throughout Alaska. However, on Federal lands and waters, the Federal 
Subsistence Board implements a subsistence priority for rural residents 
as provided by Title VIII of ANILCA. In providing this priority, the 
Board may, when necessary, preempt State harvest regulations for fish 
or wildlife on Federal lands and waters.
    These adjustments are necessary because of weak returns of the 
sockeye salmon run in the Afognak Lake, Falls Lake, Salmon Lake, and 
Klag Bay Lake systems based on in-season run assessments. The 
adjustment for Redoubt Lake is necessary because of strong returns of 
sockeye salmon to that lake system. These actions are authorized and in 
accordance with 50 CFR 100.19(d)-(e) and 36 CFR 242.19(d)-(e).

Southeastern Alaska Lake Systems

    The Falls Lake system was closed because sockeye salmon returns 
were very low, and to avoid excessive harvest effort for this 
relatively small sockeye population. The current harvest to date has 
exceeded the previous 5-year average and the weir counts have been very 
    The Salmon Lake system was closed because sockeye salmon returns 
were very low, and to avoid excessive harvest effort for this 
relatively small sockeye population. The total escapement to July 23, 
2002, was 259 at Salmon Lake. In 2001 total escapement for Salmon Lake 
was 1039 sockeye salmon.
    The Klag Bay Lake system was closed since sockeye salmon returns 
were very low, and to avoid excessive harvest effort for this 
relatively small sockeye population. The current harvest to date has 
exceeded the previous 5-year average and the weir counts have been very 
    This regulatory action was necessary to assure the continued 
viability of the sockeye salmon runs and provide a long-term 
subsistence priority during a period of limited harvest opportunity. 
These closures brought the Federal subsistence fishing regulations in 
line with the similar ADF&G action for unified management and minimized 
confusion under the dual management system.

Redoubt Lake

    On July 25, 2002, the Federal Subsistence Board suspended the 
sockeye harvest closure for non-Federally qualified users on the 
Redoubt Lake system. The projected escapement for 2002 of 32,887 fish 
is well above the previous 10-year average escapement. As a result of 
the larger than expected return, the Board suspended the now 
unnecessary, closure restrictions on non-Federally qualified users. 
This action also allowed users to fish under a State subsistence 
fishing permit rather than having to obtain a Federal permit.
    The Board finds that additional public notice and comment 
requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) for these 
emergency closures are impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the 
public interest. Lack of appropriate and immediate conservation 
measures could seriously affect the continued viability of fish 
populations, adversely impact future subsistence opportunities for 
rural Alaskans, and would generally fail to serve the overall public 
interest. Therefore, the Board finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(3)(B) to waive additional public notice and comment procedures 
prior to implementation of these actions and pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(d)(3) to make this rule effective as indicated in the DATES 

Conformance with Statutory and Regulatory Authorities

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    A Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was published on

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February 28, 1992, and a Record of Decision on Subsistence Management 
for Federal Public Lands in Alaska (ROD) was signed April 6, 1992. The 
final rule for Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in 
Alaska, Subparts A, B, and C (57 FR 22940-22964, published May 29, 
1992) implemented the Federal Subsistence Management Program and 
included a framework for an annual cycle for subsistence hunting and 
fishing regulations. A final rule that redefined the jurisdiction of 
the Federal Subsistence Management Program to include waters subject to 
the subsistence priority was published on January 8, 1999, (64 FR 

Compliance with Section 810 of ANILCA

    The intent of all Federal subsistence regulations is to accord 
subsistence uses of fish and wildlife on public lands a priority over 
the taking of fish and wildlife on such lands for other purposes, 
unless restriction is necessary to conserve healthy fish and wildlife 
populations. A Section 810 analysis was completed as part of the FEIS 
process. The final Section 810 analysis determination appeared in the 
April 6, 1992, ROD which concluded that the Federal Subsistence 
Management Program, under Alternative IV with an annual process for 
setting hunting and fishing regulations, may have some local impacts on 
subsistence uses, but the program is not likely to significantly 
restrict subsistence uses.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The adjustment and emergency closures do not contain information 
collection requirements subject to Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

Other Requirements

    The adjustments have been exempted from OMB review under Executive 
Order 12866.
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) 
requires preparation of flexibility analyses for rules that will have a 
significant effect on a substantial number of small entities, which 
include small businesses, organizations, or governmental jurisdictions. 
The exact number of businesses and the amount of trade that will result 
from this Federal land-related activity is unknown. The aggregate 
effect is an insignificant economic effect (both positive and negative) 
on a small number of small entities supporting subsistence activities, 
such as boat, fishing gear, and gasoline dealers. The number of small 
entities affected is unknown; but, the effects will be seasonally and 
geographically-limited in nature and will likely not be significant. 
The Departments certify that the adjustments will not have a 
significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities 
within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Under the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), 
this rule is not a major rule. It does not have an effect on the 
economy of $100 million or more, will not cause a major increase in 
costs or prices for consumers, and does not have significant adverse 
effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, 
innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with 
foreign-based enterprises.
    Title VIII of ANILCA requires the Secretaries to administer a 
subsistence preference on public lands. The scope of this program is 
limited by definition to certain public lands. Likewise, the 
adjustments have no potential takings of private property implications 
as defined by Executive Order 12630.
    The Service has determined and certifies pursuant to the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act, 2 U.S.C. 1502 et seq., that the adjustments will 
not impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year on local or 
State governments or private entities. The implementation is by Federal 
agencies, and no cost is involved to any State or local entities or 
Tribal governments.
    The Service has determined that the adjustments meet the applicable 
standards provided in Sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 
12988, regarding civil justice reform.
    In accordance with Executive Order 13132, the adjustments do not 
have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a 
Federalism Assessment. Title VIII of ANILCA precludes the State from 
exercising management authority over fish and wildlife resources on 
Federal lands. Cooperative salmon run assessment efforts with ADF&G 
will continue.
    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, 
``Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal 
Governments'' (59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175, and 512 DM 2, we 
have evaluated possible effects on Federally recognized Indian tribes 
and have determined that there are no effects. The Bureau of Indian 
Affairs is a participating agency in this rulemaking.
    On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13211 on 
regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, or 
use. This Executive Order requires agencies to prepare Statements of 
Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. As these actions are 
not expected to significantly affect energy supply, distribution, or 
use, they are not significant energy actions and no Statement of Energy 
Effects is required.

Drafting Information

    William Knauer drafted this document under the guidance of Thomas 
H. Boyd, of the Office of Subsistence Management, Alaska Regional 
Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska. Taylor 
Brelsford, Alaska State Office, Bureau of Land Management; Rod Simmons, 
Alaska Regional Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Bob Gerhard, 
Alaska Regional Office, National Park Service; Glenn Chen, Alaska 
Regional Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs; and Ken Thompson, USDA-
Forest Service, provided additional guidance.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 3, 472, 551, 668dd, 3101-3126; 18 U.S.C. 
3551-3586; 43 U.S.C. 1733.

    Dated: July 25, 2002.
Kenneth E. Thompson,
Subsistence Program Leader, USDA-Forest Service.
    Dated: July 25, 2002.
Thomas H. Boyd,
Acting Chair, Federal Subsistence Board.
[FR Doc. 02-21567 Filed 8-22-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-11-P; 4310-55-P