Regulatory Process



The Federal subsistence regulations are changed through a public process that begins with a call for proposals and culminates in a Federal Subsistence Board meeting, during which the Board acts on proposed changes.

Here is how the process works:

Step 1 (Jan.–Mar.)
A Proposed Rule is published in the Federal Register. It consists of the existing Federal subsistence regulations for fisheries or wildlife harvest (hunting or trapping) and asks the public to propose changes (proposals) to the existing regulations. The Proposed Rule is issued in January and proposals are accepted for approximately 45 days. The fisheries Proposed Rule is published in even numbered years. The wildlife Proposed Rule is published in odd numbered years.
Step 2 (Apr.–May)
Proposals are reviewed by staff and validated to ensure that they fall within the authority of the Federal Subsistence Board. Valid proposals are compiled in a book, which is made available to the public and the tribes for information and comment. The public comment period is usually open for 60 days.
Step 3 (Apr.–Aug.)
Proposals are analyzed by federal staff. A draft analysis with preliminary conclusion for each proposal is written, considering received public comments and with input from:
  • Federal and state biologists
  • Federal and state social scientists
  • The federal Interagency Staff Committee
  • State of Alaska
At times subsistence users and others are directly consulted about the implications of the proposals.
Step 4 (Aug.–Oct.)
The affected Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council(s) reviews the draft proposal analyses at their annual fall meeting. The Council(s) makes recommendations based on its knowledge of the resources and subsistence practices in the area, and testimony received during the meeting. Recommendations are to:
  • Support
  • Support with modifcation
  • Oppose, OR
  • Defer until later
Step 5 (Jan.)
The Federal Subsistence Board meets to take action on the proposals. During the meeting, the Board reviews the proposal analyses, Council recommendations, and hears public testimony. The Board must defer to a Council's recommendation on a proposal unless it violates ANILCA 805(c). The Board can:
  • Adopt
  • Adopt with modification or
  • Reject, Or
  • Defer until later.
Step 6 (Apr. 1 and Jul. 1)
Proposals adopted by the Board become part of the Final Rule, which is published in the Federal Register. The Final Rule contains the regulations, which are in effect for the next two year period. The fisheries regulations are effective April 1; the wildlife harvest regulations are effective July 1.

A public booklet of the regulations is published and distributed statewide. The booklet includes regulations and other information relevant to the Federal Subsistence Management Program.