[Federal Register: October 31, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 211)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 54934-54936]
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; Emergency Closures--Redoubt and Salmon Lakes Drainages

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

ACTION: Emergency closures.


SUMMARY: This provides notice of the Federal Subsistence Board's in-
season management actions to protect sockeye salmon escapement in the 
Redoubt and Salmon Lakes drainages. These regulatory adjustments and 
the closures provide an exception to the Subsistence Management 
Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska, published in the Federal 
Register on February 13, 2001. Those regulations established seasons, 
harvest limits, methods, and means relating to the taking of fish and 
shellfish for subsistence uses during the 2001 regulatory year.

DATES: This closure was effective July 13, 2001, through August 31, 

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 2001 fishing seasons, harvest limits, and methods and means 
were published on February 13, 2001, (66 FR 10142). 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 emergency closures were necessary because of predictions of 
extremely weak returns of sockeye salmon in the Redoubt and Salmon 
Lakes drainages. These emergency actions are authorized and in 
accordance with 50 CFR 100.19(d) and 36 CFR 242.19(d).

Redoubt Lake Drainage

    Since the projected escapement was well below desirable levels for 
Redoubt Lake, the system was closed to provide for spawning escapement 
needs. The total return to July 11, 2001, was 1,089 sockeye. Usually 
16% of the run returned to the lake by that time. The projected 
escapement is 7,571 fish for the 2001 season. This projection 
represents 21% of the average escapement of 36,000 sockeye during the 
period 1989-1999

Salmon Lake Drainage

    Salmon Lake was closed since returns were low, and to avoid 
excessive harvest effort for this relatively small sockeye population. 
Closure of the nearby Redoubt Lake system could displace harvest effort 
in the Sitka Sound area to Salmon Lake. The total escapement to July 
11, 2001, was 320 at Salmon Lake. Past subsistence harvest for Salmon 
Lake has ranged from zero

[[Page 54935]]

to 353 sockeye salmon since monitoring began in 1985.
    On July 11, 2001, the Federal Subsistence Board, acting through the 
delegated field official and in concert with ADF&G managers initiated a 
sockeye salmon closure in the Redoubt and Salmon Lakes drainages for 
the period from July 13, 2001, through August 31, 2001. This action was 
necessary due to low sockeye returns.
    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. 
This closure 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.
    The Board finds that additional public notice and comment 
requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) for this 
emergency closure is 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 this action and pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d) 
to make this effective as indicated in the DATES section.

Conformance With Statutory and Regulatory Authorities

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    A Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was published on 
February 28, 1992, and a Record of Decision on Subsistence Management 
for Federal Public Lands in Alaska (ROD) 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 emergency closure does not contain information collection 
requirements subject to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

Other Requirements

    The emergency closure has 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 tackle, 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 emergency closure will not have a 
significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities 
within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
    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 emergency 
closure has 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 emergency closure 
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 emergency closure meets 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 emergency closure 
does 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 this action is not 
expected to significantly affect energy supply, distribution, or use, 
it is not a significant energy action 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; Ida Hildebrand, 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.

[[Page 54936]]

    Dated: October 4, 2001.
Kenneth E. Thompson,
Subsistence Program Leader, USDA-Forest Service.
Thomas H. Boyd,
Acting Chair, Federal Subsistence Board.
[FR Doc. 01-27342 Filed 10-30-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-11-P and 4310-55-P