History of Subsistence Management in Alaska



Pre-1867 For thousands of years, Alaska Natives harvest fish and wildlife resources.
1867–1959 Following the Alaska Purchase, the Federal government manages Alaska's fish and wildlife resources.
1960 The Federal government transfers the authority to manage fish and wildlife in Alaska to the new State government.
1971 Congress passes the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), which conveys to Alaska Natives title to more than 40 million acres of land and nearly $ 1 billion in compensation. ANCSA also extinguishes aboriginal hunting and fishing rights. The Conference Committee report expresses the expectation that the Secretary of the Interior and the State of Alaska would take the action necessary to protect the subsistence needs of Alaska Natives.
1978 State subsistence law creates a priority for subsistence use over all other uses of fish and wildlife, but does not define subsistence users.
1980 Congress passes the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), which protects the subsistence needs of rural Alaskans. 
1982 The Alaska Board of Fisheries and Game adopts regulations creating a rural subsistence priority. The State program is in compliance with ANILCA.
1989 The Alaska Supreme Court rules that the rural residency preference violates the Alaska Constitution.
1990 The Federal government begins managing subsistence hunting, trapping and fishing on Alaska’s Federal public lands and non-navigable waters.
1992 The Federal government adopts final subsistence management regulations for Federal public lands.
1993 Federal Regional Advisory Councils are established.
1995 The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the Federal Subsistence Board should expand its management of subsistence fisheries to include all navigable waters in which the United States holds reserve water rights, such as waters on or next to wildlife refuges, national parks, and national forests. Congressional moratoriums prevent this ruling from taking effect until October 1, 1999.
1999

Federal subsistence management expands to include fisheries on all Federal public lands and waters.

2009 Secretary of the Interior announces comprehensive review of the Federal Subsistence Management Program.
2010 Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture announce their decision to make a number of changes to the program.<<read more>>