[Federal Register: September 27, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 187)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 56421-56422]
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 Alaska; 
Kenai Peninsula Subsistence Resource Region

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the Federal Subsistence Board, are extending the comment 
period through November 9, 2006, on the proposed rule that would amend 
the regulations governing subsistence use of fish and wildlife in 
Alaska by creating an additional subsistence resource region for the 
Kenai Peninsula.

DATES: The comments period on the proposed rule is extended through 
November 9, 2006.

http://www.regulations.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 general subsistence management 
program questions, contact Pete Probasco at (907) 786-3888. For Forest 
Service questions, contact Steve Kessler, Regional Subsistence Program 
Leader, USDA-FS Alaska Region, at (907) 786-3592.



    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 

[[Page 56422]]

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.

Comments and Extension of Comment Period on the Proposed 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.
    On August 14, 2006, the Board published a proposed rule (71 FR 
46427) related to the establishment of a new Kenai Peninsula 
Subsistence Resource Region. During a Southcentral Federal Subsistence 
Regional Advisory Council meeting held in Anchorage, Alaska on August 
24, 2006, we heard significant testimony regarding the creation of a 
new Kenai Peninsula Subsistence Resource Region. Additionally, the 
Southcentral Regional Council unanimously recommended against the 
formation of such a region without providing more opportunity for 
public input. Letters from the public also strongly recommended 
providing more opportunity for public input. Therefore, the comment 
period on that proposed rule is extended through November 9, 2006. 
Prior to that date, the Board will hold public meetings on the Kenai 
Peninsula 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. You may 
submit electronic comments (preferred method) as a PDF or MS Word file, 
avoiding the use of any special characters and any form of encryption.

    Dated: September 19, 2006.
Peter J. Probasco,
Acting Chair, Federal Subsistence Board.

    Dated: September 19, 2006.
Steve Kessler,
Subsistence Program Leader, USDA-Forest Service.
[FR Doc. 06-8280 Filed 9-26-06; 8:45 am]