[Federal Register: August 14, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 156)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 46400-46401]
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

RIN 1018-AU92

Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in AK; Kenai 
Peninsula Subsistence Resource Region

AGENCIES: Forest Service, Agriculture; Fish and Wildlife Service, 

ACTION: Direct final rule.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, are amending the regulations governing subsistence use of fish 
and wildlife in Alaska by creating an additional subsistence resource 
region for the Kenai Peninsula. This addition of a separate subsistence 
resource region will allow for the creation of a separate Federal 
subsistence regional advisory council for that region. A new regional 
council responsible for only the Kenai Peninsula area will better 
ensure that residents with personal knowledge of the Kenai Peninsula 
area will have a meaningful role in the complex issues and management 
challenges of subsistence management on the Federal lands of the Kenai 

DATES: This rule will be effective on September 29, 2006, unless we 
receive significant adverse comments on or before September 18, 2006.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments electronically to 
Subsistence@fws.gov. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for file format and 

other information about electronic filing. You may also submit written 
comments to the Office of Subsistence Management, 3601 C Street, Suite 
1030, Anchorage, AK 99503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For Forest Service questions, contact 
Steve Kessler, Regional Subsistence Program Leader, USDA-FS Alaska 
Region, at (907) 786-3592. For Fish and Wildlife Service questions, 
contact Pete Probasco at (907) 786-3888.



    You may submit electronic comments (preferred method) and other 
data to Subsistence@fws.gov. Please submit as a PDF or MS Word file, 
avoiding the use of any special characters and any form of encryption. 
The existing Southcentral Regional Council will hold a meeting 
Thursday, August 24, 2006, in Anchorage, Alaska, to receive testimony 
and discuss the proposed Kenai Peninsula subsistence Resource Region. 
The specific time and place will be noticed in local and regional 
newspapers and by press release.


    In Title VIII of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation 
Act (ANILCA) (16 U.S.C. 3111-3126), Congress found that ``the situation 
in Alaska is unique in that, in most cases, no practical alternative 
means are available to replace the food supplies and other items 
gathered from fish and wildlife which supply rural residents dependent 
on subsistence uses * * *'' and that ``continuation of the opportunity 
for subsistence uses of resources on public and other lands in Alaska 
is threatened * * *'' As a result, Title VIII requires, among other 
things, 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.
    The State implemented a program that the Department of the Interior 
previously found to be consistent with ANILCA. However, in December 
1989, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in McDowell v. State of Alaska 
that the rural preference in the State subsistence statute violated the 
Alaska Constitution. The Court's ruling in McDowell required the State 
to delete the rural preference from its subsistence statute and, 
therefore, negated State compliance with ANILCA. The Court stayed the 
effect of the decision until July 1, 1990. As a result of the McDowell 
decision, 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. On June 29, 
1990, the Temporary Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands 
in Alaska were published in the Federal Register (55 FR 27114).

Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils

    Pursuant to the Subsistence Management Regulations for Federal 
Public Lands in Alaska, April 6, 1992, and the Subsistence Management 
Regulations for Federal Public Lands in Alaska, 36 CFR 242.11 (2002) 
and 50 CFR 100.11 (2002), and for the purposes identified therein, we 
divided Alaska into 10 subsistence resource regions, each of which is 
represented by a Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council 
(Regional Council). The Regional Councils provide a forum for residents 
of the regions, who have personal knowledge of local conditions and 
resource requirements, to have a meaningful role in the subsistence 
management of fish and wildlife on Alaska public lands. The Regional 
Council members represent varied geographical, cultural, and user 
diversity within each region.

Current Rule

    The Kenai Peninsula has unique fish and wildlife management 
challenges due to intense use of the Peninsula's fish and wildlife by 
local and nonlocal residents and by nonresidents, and due to the recent 
Board actions to begin to provide a meaningful subsistence priority for 
fisheries in Federally managed fresh waters on the Kenai Peninsula. 
Kenai Peninsula lands primarily under Federal management include the 
Chugach National Forest and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. A new 
region and regional council will better ensure that residents with 
personal knowledge of the Kenai Peninsula area will have a meaningful

[[Page 46401]]

role in subsistence use management on Federal public lands.
    By this direct final rule, the Federal Subsistence Board is 
establishing an additional subsistence resource region, the Kenai 
Peninsula Subsistence Resource Region. This Region will be composed of 
State Game Management Units 7, 14C, and 15, taken from the Southcentral 
Subsistence Resource Region.
    The Board will recommend to the Secretaries that current 
Southcentral Regional Council members residing within the Kenai 
Peninsula Region be appointed to membership on the Kenai Peninsula 
Subsistence Regional Advisory Council and that members who reside in 
what will be the new Southcentral Region remain members of that 
Council. A special membership recruitment effort will be conducted this 
summer and fall to fill the additional vacancies on the Kenai Peninsula 
Council and to replace members on the Southcentral Council being 
appointed to the Kenai Peninsula Council.
    We are publishing this rule without a prior proposal because we 
view this action as an administrative action by the Federal Subsistence 
Board. This rule will be effective, as published in this document, 
September 29, 2006, unless we receive significant adverse comments on 
or before September 18, 2006. Significant adverse comments are comments 
that provide strong justifications why the rule should not be adopted 
or for changing the rule. If we receive significant adverse comments, 
we will publish a notice in the Federal Register withdrawing this rule 
before the effective date. In the event that we do receive any 
significant adverse comments, we will engage in the normal rulemaking 
process to promulgate these changes to the CFR. Therefore, in this 
issue of the Federal Register, we have published a proposed rule 
regarding these regulatory changes. We will give the same consideration 
to comments submitted in response to either this direct final rule or 
the proposed rule; you do not need to submit separate comments for both 
    As discussed above, if we receive no significant adverse comments 
by the close of the comment period, then this direct final rule will 
become effective September 29, 2006. In that case, we will publish a 
document in the Federal Register, before the effective date of this 
direct final rule, confirming the effective date and withdrawing the 
related proposed rule.

Required Determinations

Regulatory Planning and Review [Executive Order (E.O.) 12866], 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), and Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (5 U.S.C. 804(2))

    An economic analysis is not necessary because this rule will not 
have an economic impact on any entities, large or small. The Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that this rule is not a 
significant rule under E.O. 12866, and, therefore, OMB has not reviewed 

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.)

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act:
    (a) This rule will not ''significantly or uniquely'' affect small 
governments. A Small Government Agency Plan is not required.
    (b) This rule will not produce a Federal mandate of $100 million or 
greater in any year; that is, it is not a ''significant regulatory 
action'' under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.


    In accordance with E.O. 12630, this rule does not have significant 
takings implications. A takings implication assessment is not required.


    In accordance with E.O. 13132, this rule does not have significant 
Federalism effects. A Federalism assessment is not required.

Civil Justice Reform

    In accordance with E.O. 12988, the Office of the Solicitor has 
determined that this rule does not unduly burden the judicial system, 
and this rule meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of 
the Order.

Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    This rule does not contain any new information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have determined that an Environmental Assessment and/or an 
Environmental Impact Statement as defined by the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 need not be prepared for this rule. This rule does 
not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the 
quality of the human environment.
    William Knauer drafted these regulations under the guidance of 
Peter J. Probasco of the Office of Subsistence Management, Alaska 
Regional Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska. 
Dennis Tol and Chuck Ardizzone, Alaska State Office, Bureau of Land 
Management; Greg Bos, Carl Jack, and Jerry Berg, Alaska Regional 
Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Sandy Rabinowitch and Nancy 
Swanton, Alaska Regional Office, National Park Service; Dr. Warren 
Eastland, Pat Petrivelli, and Dr. Glenn Chen, Alaska Regional Office, 
Bureau of Indian Affairs; and Steve Kessler, Alaska Regional Office, 
USDA-Forest Service provided additional guidance.

List of Subjects

36 CFR Part 242

    Administrative practice and procedure, Alaska, Fish, National 
forests, Public lands, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 

50 CFR Part 100

    Administrative practice and procedure, Alaska, Fish, National 
forests, Public lands, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 

For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Departments amend title 
36, part 242, and title 50, part 100, of the Code of Federal 
Regulations, as set forth below.


1. The authority citation for both 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100 
continues to read as follows:

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

Subpart C--Board Determinations

2. In Sec.  ----.22, paragraph (a) is revised by adding ``; and'' at 
the end of paragraph (10) and a new paragraph (11) to read as follows:

Sec.  ----.22  Subsistence resource regions.

    (a) * * *
    (11) Kenai Peninsula Region.
* * * * *

    Dated: July 21, 2006.
Peter J. Probasco,
Acting Chair, Federal Subsistence Board.
    Dated: July 20, 2006.
Steve Kessler,
Subsistence Program Leader,
USDA-Forest Service.
[FR Doc. 06-6904 Filed 8-11-06; 8:45 am]