[Federal Register: March 28, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 60)]
[Page 16405-16409]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Establishment of Management Bodies in Alaska To Develop 
Recommendations Related to the Spring/Summer Subsistence Harvest of 
Migratory Birds

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of decision.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a 
Notice in the Federal Register, 64 FR 35674, July 1, 1999, inviting 
public comment on an options document entitled, ``Forming Management 
Bodies to Implement Legal Spring and Summer Migratory Bird Subsistence 
Hunting in Alaska.'' The document described four models for organizing 
management bodies as required by the amended migratory bird treaty with 
Canada. The comment period closed October 29 and, after reviewing the 
comments, the Alaska Regional Director decided to implement a system 
combining elements of models 1 and 3 as described in the options 

DATES: The decision described in this notice will become effective 
April 27, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Correspondence may be addressed to the Alaska Regional 
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1011 E. Tudor Road, 
Anchorage, AK 99503; Attn: Migratory Bird Management.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mimi Hogan, 907/786-3673, or Bob 
Stevens, 907/786-3499, at the above address.



    In 1916 the U.S. Senate ratified the Convention Between the United 
States and Great Britain (on behalf of Canada) For The Protection Of 
Migratory Birds. A similar treaty was ratified with Mexico in 1936. The 
treaties specified a close season on the taking of migratory game birds 
between March 10 and September 1 of each year. The treaties did not 
take into account traditional harvests of migratory birds by northern 
indigenous people during the spring and summer months. This harvest, 
which had occurred for centuries, was a necessary part of the 
subsistence lifestyle of the northern people, and continued after the 
ratification of the treaties. After many years of attempts to change 
the treaties, the Senate approved Protocol amendments to both treaties 
in 1997, allowing for the subsistence harvest of migratory birds by 
indigenous inhabitants of identified subsistence zones in Alaska.
    (a) What is the intent of the Protocol amendments? The goals of the 
Protocol are to allow a traditional subsistence harvest and to improve 
conservation of migratory birds by allowing for the effective 
regulation of this harvest. The action is not intended to cause 
significant increases in the take of migratory birds relative to their 
continental population sizes.
    (b) Who is eligible to harvest in the spring and summer? The U.S. 
Senate confirmed its understanding at ratification that an eligible 
indigenous inhabitant is a permanent resident of a village within a 
subsistence harvest area, regardless of race.
    (c) Where are the subsistence harvest areas? According to Protocol 
documents, most villages north and west of the Alaska range and within 
the Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Archipelago, and the Aleutian Islands 
would qualify as subsistence harvest areas. Anchorage, Matanuska-
Susitna and Fairbanks North Star Boroughs, the Kenai Peninsula roaded 
area, the Gulf of Alaska roaded area and Southeast Alaska would 
generally not qualify for a spring or summer harvest.
    (d) Are there exceptions to the eligible areas? Protocol language 
allows for limited exceptions so that some individual communities 
within excluded areas may qualify for designation as subsistence 
harvest areas for some limited purposes. For example, regulations could 
allow collecting of gull eggs by some villages in Southeast Alaska.
    (e) What other changes does the Protocol mandate? The Protocol 
amendments call for participation of indigenous inhabitants on 
management bodies that will be created to ensure an effective and 
meaningful role for indigenous inhabitants in the conservation of 
migratory birds.
    (f) Who will be on these management bodies and what will they do? 
The Secretary of State's submittal document accompanying the Protocol 
confirms that the management bodies will include Native, federal, and 
State of Alaska representatives as equals, and that they will develop 
recommendations for, among other things: seasons and bag limits; law 
enforcement policies; population and harvest monitoring; education 
programs; research and use of traditional knowledge; and habitat 
    (g) Where do the recommendations go? Relevant recommendations will 
be submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and to the Flyway 

Summary of Public Involvement

    (a) What public process did you follow before writing the options 
document entitled, ``Forming Management Bodies to Implement Legal 
Spring and Summer Migratory Bird Subsistence Hunting in Alaska''? To 
aid in the preparation of the options document entitled, ``Forming 
Management Bodies to Implement Legal Spring and Summer Migratory Bird 
Subsistence Hunting in Alaska'', the Service, the Alaska Department of 
Fish and Game, and the Native Migratory Bird Working Group held public 
forums to discuss the amended treaty and to listen to the needs of the 
subsistence user. The Native Migratory Bird Working Group is a 
consortium of Alaska Natives, formed by the Rural Alaska Community 
Action Program to represent the Alaska Native subsistence hunters of 
migratory birds. Forum locations included Nome, Kotzebue, Fort Yukon, 
Allakaket, Naknek, Bethel, Dillingham, Barrow, and Copper Center. The 
Service led additional briefings and discussions at the annual meeting 
of the Association of Village Council Presidents in Hooper Bay, and for 
the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida in Juneau. Refuge staffs at the 
Yukon Delta, Togiak, and Kodiak National Wildlife Refuges conducted 
public meetings in the villages within their refuge areas and discussed 
the amended treaty at those meetings. We wrote the four models 
described in the options document based on what we heard at statewide 
    (b) Who received copies of ``Forming Management Bodies to Implement 
Legal Spring and Summer Migratory Bird Subsistence Hunting in Alaska''? 
In May 1999 we released to the public for

[[Page 16406]]

review and comment the options document describing four possible models 
for establishing management bodies. We mailed copies of that options 
document to approximately 1350 individuals and organizations on the 
project mail list, including all tribal councils and municipal 
governments in Alaska. We distributed an additional 600 copies at 
public meetings held to discuss the four models. Also, we made the 
document available on the Fish and Wildlife Service web page.
    (c) How long was the public comment period? The comment period was 
open from the time the document was released the end of May until 
September 30, 1999. We then extended the opportunity to comment through 
October 29, 1999.

Analysis of Public Comments

    (a) What was the response? We received 60 written comments 
addressing the formation of management bodies. Of those 60 comments 26 
were from tribal governments, 20 from individuals, 10 from 
organizations, 2 from federal government, 1 from the State of Alaska, 
and 1 from the Native Migratory Bird Working Group. Comments reflected 
a wide range of views and did not show a definitive selection of any 
one model.
    (b) What comments did you receive supporting or opposing Model 1? 
Model 1 proposed one statewide management body with 12 regional bodies 
providing representation to the statewide body. The statewide 
management body would consist of three federal, three state, and 12 
Native members. Representative comments supporting Model 1: The 
management body is manageable in size and appears simple, well-
balanced, and cost effective. The non-profit organizations identified 
as partners are well established and accustomed to working with one 
another. One management body promotes interregional cooperation for 
management of shared bird populations. It also can better develop 
interregional management programs and be more creative in resolving 
conservation issues. Also, one management body provides incentive to 
reconcile differences instate rather than presenting dissenting views 
to the Flyway Councils and to the Service Regulations Committee.
    Representative comments opposing Model 1: This project adds too 
much workload on the non-profit agencies leading to limited 
representation for the more remote villages. The representatives on the 
management body would need to know all the relative issues statewide 
resulting in reduced ability to focus on the regional issues. Decisions 
would not be made at the regional level. People outside the region 
would be too influential leading to the possibility that the statewide 
group would override regional needs. The statewide body is too removed 
from the village. Along that same line, the non-profit agencies should 
be acting on behalf of its regional people and not have statewide 
    (c) What comments did you receive supporting or opposing Model 2? 
Model 2 proposed one statewide management body with 10 regional bodies. 
The Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils would serve as the 
regional bodies. The statewide management body would consist of two 
federal, two state, and 10 Native members. Representative comments 
supporting Model 2: The ten Regional Advisory Councils are already 
organized and familiar to subsistence users. They obtain local input 
better than most other groups. Using the Regional Advisory Councils 
would be efficient, cost effective, the least disruptive, and quickly 
implemented. One management body would improve communication among all 
areas of the state and would provide a diversity of views on the 
management body. It would give each geographic area an opportunity to 
get a clearer view of the big picture of migratory bird management. One 
management body would represent Alaska with one unified voice.
    Representative comments opposing Model 2: All of the ten Regional 
Advisory Council representatives would need to know all the issues 
statewide and not just those of their respective regions. The Regional 
Advisory Councils are already overworked, especially with the addition 
of fisheries management issues. Using groups formed pursuant to the 
Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) to manage a 
resource for which subsistence harvest is governed by international 
treaty and regulations promulgated thereunder could be confusing to the 
management body members as well as to the subsistence hunters.
    (d) What comments did you receive supporting or opposing Model 3? 
Model 3 proposed creating seven management bodies using common resource 
use patterns to form the boundaries. Membership on the seven management 
bodies would total 12 federal, 12 state, and 48 Native members. 
Representative comments supporting Model 3: This model would allow for 
geographic differences in culture, traditions, hunting styles, and 
management needs. Input would be more readily received from local 
subsistence users and decisions would be made regionally. Travel to 
regional meetings would be affordable.
    Representative comments opposing Model 3: With this model no 
unified voice would be speaking for the subsistence hunter in Alaska. 
Conflicting recommendations would go forward to the Flyway Councils and 
the Service Regulations Committee, causing decisions to be made outside 
Alaska. So many management bodies would tax communication among the 
regions in the state. This model would be too expensive to administer.
    (e) What comments did you receive supporting or opposing Model 4? 
Model 4 proposed creating three management bodies using shared bird 
populations to form the boundaries. Membership on the three bodies 
would total three federal, three state, and 13 Native members. 
Representative comments supporting Model 4: This model provides strong 
relationships with the Flyway Councils. It is aligned well for 
management of shared species and similar harvest patterns.
    Representative comments opposing Model 4: The culture of the people 
in the Interior region and the bird populations are too different to be 
combined with those of the Northwest and Arctic Slope. Village leaders 
are very busy with a wide range of responsibilities to uphold. There 
are not enough leaders in the rural communities to accommodate the 
needs created by this model. The workload generated by this model is 
too much for the non-profit organizations, impacting their ability to 
adequately involve their people.
    (f) Did the Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils provide 
comments? Yes. In addition to the 60 written comments, 9 of the 10 
Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils passed resolutions 
regarding the four models presented. Five of the councils approved the 
model using the Regional Advisory Councils to provide a representative 
to one statewide management body. Reasons for supporting that model 
included a concern for adequate communication if too many different 
groups became involved in management of subsistence resources. They 
also felt that they were the most knowledgeable about subsistence 
issues and that they would be able to begin management more quickly 
since they already had an organization in place. Four of the Regional 
Advisory Councils opposed the model involving them. Reasons given for 
their opposition included a lack of time or the feeling that the

[[Page 16407]]

regional non-profit organizations had already been involved in the 
treaty amendments and were more knowledgeable of the issues specific to 
migratory bird subsistence hunting. One Regional Advisory Council 
decided not to comment.
    (g) How did you address suggestions that did not fit any specific 
model? We received a few comments that were in the form of 
recommendations and neither supported nor opposed any of the four 
models. One comment suggested that the number of agency representatives 
on the management body remain flexible. We agree. In the May document 
we stated that both the federal and state governments would place one 
representative on the management body for each five Native 
representatives. Our final decision is to place one federal and one 
state representative on the management body. Regardless of the number 
of representatives serving on the management body, the Native, federal, 
and state components included on the management body will serve as 
    A second comment suggested that the proposals formulated by the 
management body be submitted to the Board of Game. The Letter of 
Submittal accompanying the Protocol to the White House stated that 
recommendations from the management body would be submitted to the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service and to the Flyway Councils. The Regional 
Director's decision discussed below incorporates this mandate into the 
process to be followed.
    A third comment suggested that the state representative on the 
management body be a member of the Alaska Board of Game. It is not the 
purpose of this Notice to specify who will serve on the management body 
or how those selections should be made. In the case of the State of 
Alaska, representatives will be selected by the Commissioner of the 
Department of Fish and Game.
    A fourth comment suggested that the Fish and Wildlife Service have 
an ad hoc member from the lower 48 states on the management body. A 
primary purpose of the management body is to afford the indigenous 
inhabitants of the State of Alaska an effective and meaningful role in 
the conservation of migratory birds including the development and 
implementation of regulations affecting the non-wasteful taking of 
migratory birds and the collection of their eggs. The management body 
will formulate recommendations after reviewing technical information of 
local and national significance. This information will be provided by 
federal and state technical support staff. Flyway Councils and Fish and 
Wildlife Service staff in the lower 48 states will review the 
recommendations before regulations are promulgated. This process 
assures protection of the national interest while initiating 
regulations at the local level.
    A fifth comment to be addressed suggested that the state fish and 
game advisory councils and the Alaska Board of Game be involved in the 
regulatory process, possibly through an intergovernmental agreement. 
Management body meetings, as well as regional meetings, will be 
conducted as a part of a public process. The meetings will be open to 
public comment, and organizations as well as individuals will be 
encouraged to participate. By participating in this manner the fish and 
game advisory councils and the Alaska Board of Game can become involved 
in the initial stages of the regulatory process. As with all waterfowl 
regulations, the State Board of Game will establish state regulations.
    The Alaska Department of Fish and Game supported Model 1, believing 
that one management body would be more effective and could be more 
creative in developing regulations and working on conservation issues. 
One management body would also provide incentive to resolve regional 
differences within Alaska and before recommendations are forwarded to 
the Flyway Councils and the Service Regulations Committee. The State 
also endorsed consensus as the primary means of decision making and 
full involvement of the public in the process. The State strongly 
supported the establishment of state migratory bird hunting regulations 
within frameworks provided in federal regulations.
    The Native Migratory Bird Working Group (NMBWG) proposed a fifth 
model. They proposed seven regional management bodies, using boundaries 
as proposed in Model 3. Each of the seven bodies would have Native, 
federal, and state representation. A statewide management body would 
coordinate overlapping regional issues and provide for sharing 
information between regions. The NMBWG could serve initially to 
represent subsistence hunters on the statewide body until the partner 
organizations appoint or select their representatives.
    The NMBWG made several additional comments. They proposed that the 
management bodies address all issues related to migratory birds for all 
seasons and not be limited to spring/summer hunting. Article 
II(4)(b)(ii) of the Protocol provides for an exception to the close 
season on migratory game birds between March 10 and September 1 found 
in Article II(1). The intent of amending the Migratory Bird Treaty with 
Canada has always been to provide for a spring/summer subsistence 
harvest during the close season. The management of the hunt for this 
period (March 10-September 1) will be done through management bodies 
established in the amendment. Recommendations from the management 
bodies will address regulations for spring and summer harvest only.
    The NMBWG proposed an official seat for a Native representative on 
the Flyway Council and the Technical Committee of each of the four 
Flyway Councils. The Service cannot provide an official seat for a 
representative on any of the Flyway Councils or Technical Committees. 
The Flyway Councils and Flyway Technical Committees are comprised of 
administrative and technical representatives, respectively, from each 
state wildlife agency. Flyway Councils are governed by by-laws, and 
members are comprised mostly of state agency directors or their 
designated representatives. While there is Service participation in 
Flyway meetings, final recommendations are formulated by the state 
personnel involved. It is our understanding that representatives of the 
Alaska Management Body probably would be welcome on the Flyway 
Technical Committees, but that decision is up to the respective Flyway 
Councils, not the Service.
    The NMBWG requested that a Native representative be provided a 
meaningful role on the Service Regulations Committee. Only Service 
officials serve on the Regulations Committee. We propose that two 
representatives from the Statewide Management Body attend the Service 
Regulations Committee to provide technical information and to answer 
questions regarding spring and summer harvest regulations for Alaska.
    The NMBWG suggested that the Service Regulations Committee provide 
its concerns in writing if a recommendation is rejected. Whenever a 
proposal is sent to the Service Regulations Committee, the Service 
responds in writing stating its position.
    The NMBWG suggested a voting system that would tend to avoid 2 to 1 
votes on the management bodies when consensus could not be reached. 
Details regarding the role of voting on the management bodies will be 
determined when the management bodies have an opportunity to develop an 
operations manual outlining their policies and procedures.
    The NMBWG requested that neither the State Board of Game nor the 
Federal Subsistence Board have any jurisdiction over the subsistence 
migratory bird harvest--spring, summer, or fall. The Federal 
Subsistence Board will not be a

[[Page 16408]]

part of the management body organization. However, the states are 
actively involved in migratory game bird management and have 
considerable involvement in regulatory matters. This relationship is 
longstanding and assures that state interests are considered fully, if 
not always satisfied, in the exercise of federal authority to 
promulgate regulations governing migratory bird hunting. The Service 
affirms the State's right, as defined in Section 708 of the Migratory 
Bird Treaty Act, to make or enforce laws or regulations as long as they 
are not inconsistent with federal laws or regulations.

Decision on Format of Management Bodies

    (a) Which of the 4 models in the options document did you choose? 
In our options document, ``Forming Management Bodies to Implement Legal 
Spring and Summer Migratory Bird Subsistence Hunting in Alaska'' , we 
said that additional models or a combination of models would be 
considered, depending on the comments received during the review 
period. What we heard during the comment period were strong statements 
for (1) the need for a unified statewide body in order to coordinate 
overlapping issues and to communicate with subsistence hunters from all 
over the state; and (2) the need to keep discussion and decision-making 
regarding regional issues at the regional level where the user could be 
more involved. In order to address those two needs, we have decided to 
combine elements of model 1, (one statewide management body with 12 
regions providing one representative each) with elements of model 3, 
(seven management bodies representing seven geographic areas.) Details 
on how we propose to combine and modify the two models follows.
    (b) What is the format for management bodies? A single Statewide 
Management Body will be formed consisting of representatives from each 
of seven regional bodies and one representative each from the Fish and 
Wildlife Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Membership 
on the seven regional bodies will be comprised of subsistence users 
from each of the seven regions. The Service will contract with 12 
partner organizations (see(e)), to organize and administer the regional 
bodies. The Native Migratory Bird Working Group will serve initially to 
represent migratory bird subsistence users on the statewide body until 
the regional bodies appoint or select their representatives.
    (c) What is the function of the Statewide Management Body? The 
Statewide Management Body will provide meaningful input in the 
development of recommendations on regulations for spring and summer 
harvest and conservation of migratory birds in Alaska. In doing so, it 
will provide guidelines within which the regional bodies can create 
recommendations. An example of a guideline would be no hunting of 
spectacled or Steller's eiders because their populations are listed as 
threatened. Another statewide guideline might prohibit harvest during 
the nesting season but the regions would have flexibility to determine 
dates that recognize differences in timing and distribution of 
migratory birds. We believe the guidelines will be relatively stable 
and might need little modification from year to year. The regional 
bodies will recommend regulations based on regional needs but the 
recommendations must be within the broad guidelines established by the 
Statewide Management Body. The Statewide Management Body will 
coordinate the recommendations from the seven regional bodies and 
forward them to the Service and Flyway Councils.
    (d) How will the Statewide Management Body operate? The Statewide 
Management Body will include Native, federal, and state representatives 
as equals. The Statewide Management Body will strive for consensus on 
all decisions. The Statewide Management Body will develop an operating 
manual providing options for voting on issues that are not reached by 
consensus. All meetings will be open and accessible to the public. Any 
member of the public will be able to file proposals and statements with 
the Statewide Management Body; and any member of the public may speak 
at the meeting, consistent with the operating procedures.
    (e) Who are the regional bodies? Consistent with the recommendation 
of the Native Migratory Bird Working Group, the seven regional bodies 
will be organized along the lines of Model 3. The seven regional bodies 
will be made up of subsistence users and will be organized by the 
following 12 partner organizations that will be responsible for 
administering the regional programs:
    1. Chugachmiut, Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Copper River Native 
Association, and Central Council, Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes
    2. Aleutian/Pribilof Islands Association, Kodiak Area Native 
    3. Bristol Bay Native Association
    4. Association of Village Council Presidents
    5. Kawerak
    6. Maniilaq Association & the North Slope Borough
    7. Tanana Chiefs Conference
    (f) What are the responsibilities of the 12 partner organizations? 
Each of the partner organizations listed above will work with the 
subsistence users within its region to establish membership on each of 
the regional bodies. They will be responsible for coordinating meetings 
within their regions, soliciting proposals and keeping the villages 
    (g) What are the functions of the regional bodies? The regional 
bodies have all the functions as the Statewide Management Body as 
described in the Protocol Letter of Submittal. These are: develop 
recommendations, for among other things, seasons and bag limits; law 
enforcement policies; population and harvest monitoring; education 
programs; research and use of traditional knowledge; and habitat 
    Each regional body will provide at least one representative to the 
Statewide Management Body consistent with paragraph (b). However the 
three regional bodies with more than one administrative partner 
organization (see (e)) may provide a representative from each of the 
partner organizations. For example, the regional body administered by 
Maniilaq Association & the North Slope Borough could choose to send 
just one representative to the Statewide Management Body to represent 
the regional body or they could choose one representative from Maniilaq 
region and one from the North Slope Borough. Total regional 
representation on the Statewide Management Body could range from seven 
to 12 members.
    (h) How will the regional bodies operate? Each region can decide on 
the size of its organization, who serves on it, the length of terms, 
methods of involving subsistence users, and related matters. The state 
and federal partners will provide technical assistance to the regional 
bodies but will not serve as members of the regional body or be 
involved in the decision making of the regional body. As long as the 
regional bodies operate within the guidelines provided by the Statewide 
Management Body, the final decision for recommendations that affect 
only one region would be made solely by that regional body. Regional 
body recommendations for regulations will be forwarded to the Statewide 
Management Body. The Statewide Management Body may choose to reject the 
recommendation from a regional body

[[Page 16409]]

only when it does not conform with the statewide guidelines.
    Although they are referred to as regional bodies for the purpose of 
this Notice the regional bodies may adopt any name that reflects their 
mission in their region. For example, the Waterfowl Conservation 
Committee of the Association of Village Council Presidents is already 
in existence on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and has been instrumental in 
the negotiations of the Protocol amendments.
    (i) How will the this program be funded? The Service will negotiate 
annual funding agreements with the administrative partner organizations 
(see (e) above) to help cover the cost of meetings, travel, village 
council coordination and training. An important part of this program is 
monitoring the spring and summer subsistence harvest in order to 
properly manage migratory birds. Annual funding agreements with Alaska 
Native Organizations, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and 
others will be used to accomplish harvest monitoring.
    (j) How will the Statewide Management Body interact with the 
Flyways? The State of Alaska is most associated with Pacific coast 
states and is a member of the Pacific Flyway Council. As necessary, 
Alaska coordinates with the Atlantic Flyway on tundra swans, the 
Mississippi Flyway on ducks, and the Central Flyway on mid-continent 
white-fronted geese, sandhill cranes and ducks. Two representatives 
from the Statewide Management Body will attend Pacific and Central 
Flyway Council meetings and can request membership to their Technical 
Committees that provide the individual Flyway Councils with advice on 
biological matters. In addition, the responsibilities of the two 
representatives will include attending the Service Regulations 
Committee meetings. Representatives will be expected to provide 
technical information and to answer questions regarding spring and 
summer harvest regulations for Alaska.
    (k) What is the relationship to the federal and state systems for 
managing migratory birds? The regulations adopted to manage spring and 
summer subsistence hunting of migratory birds in Alaska will become 
part of the annual regulatory process currently used by the Service and 
the State. The Service Regulations Committee will consider the proposed 
regulations at the same time as those for fall and winter seasons.
    The process of developing these regulations begins in January with 
a meeting of the Service Regulations Committee. Preliminary regulatory 
proposals are developed for the coming year and published in the 
Federal Register as a notice of proposed rulemaking. The Flyway 
Councils and their Technical Committees, as well as individual states 
and the public, then have an opportunity to respond to these proposals. 
Federal migratory bird hunting regulations are divided into ``early 
season'' and ``late season'' regulations. Early season regulations 
presently cover all of Alaska's migratory bird seasons, opening as 
early as September 1. The state adopts migratory bird hunting 
regulations within the federal frameworks.
    Late season regulations cover the normal waterfowl, crane and snipe 
seasons in the lower-48 states and generally begin on or after October 
1. In the next phase, the Service Regulations Committee meets; public 
hearings are held; proposed frameworks are developed and published in 
the Federal Register; and an abbreviated open comment period is 
established. Following this comment period, final frameworks are 
established and published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register 
final rule represents the final product of the regulations development 
process. Alaska's spring and summer regulations could be a part of 
``late season'' regulations schedule in order to coordinate with the 
Flyway Councils and Service Regulations Committee. This means 
regulations would be published in the fall for the following spring and 
summer. If this proves too unresponsive, the schedule will be revised.
    (l) When would the Statewide Management Body and the regional 
bodies meet? A schedule which interacts with the present regulatory 
system might look like this:
    November: Statewide Management Body meets, reviews population and 
harvest information, and prepares guidelines. Issues a request to the 
regions for regional recommendations that are within guidelines.
    January: Regional bodies meet, review population and harvest 
information and prepare recommendations for regional regulations and 
management programs.
    February: Statewide Management Body meets and reviews 
recommendations from regional bodies. Sends recommendations to Pacific 
Flyway, Central Flyway and the Service.
    March: Representatives from the Statewide Management Body attend 
Flyway Technical Committee and Council meetings.
    July: Representatives from Statewide Management Body represent 
Alaska and provide technical information to the Flyway Councils and 
Service Regulations Committee.
    September: Final rules are published for the following spring and 
summer. Cycle starts again.
    (m) How will the general public be involved in the process of 
setting spring and summer regulations for migratory birds in Alaska? 
The Statewide Management Body and the supporting regional bodies will 
be open to recommendations from all user groups. The meetings will be 
open to the public and there will be opportunities for public comment 
on proposals. In the present continental migratory bird regulatory 
system there are periods open for public comment. All the comments and 
recommendations are taken into consideration before hunting regulations 
are proposed and finalized.

    Dated: March 21, 2000.
David B. Allen,
Regional Director, Anchorage, Alaska.
[FR Doc. 00-7550 Filed 3-27-00; 8:45 am]