Subsistence Board seeks comments on rural determinations process
On the Y-K Delta
The Federal Subsistence Board is seeking comments on the process used to determine which Alaska communities are rural for purposes of the Federal Subsistence Program. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) mandates that rural Alaskans be given a priority for subsistence uses of fish and wildlife on federal public lands. The board conducts a periodic review of rural determinations. Only communities or areas that are found to be rural are eligible for the subsistence priority under ANILCA.
Following a secretarial review of the Federal Subsistence Management Program, the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture tasked the board to review the rural determination process and recommend changes. The board identified the following components to be a part of this review: population thresholds, rural characteristics, aggregation of communities, timelines, and information sources. Descriptions of these components and associated questions for public consideration and comment are online at alaska.fws.gov/asm/newsrel/r011413a.pdf. Comments will be used by the board to assist in making decisions regarding the scope and nature of possible changes to improve the rural determination process. The public comment period ends Nov. 1.