Department of the Interior

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Office of the Secretary
August 18, 2006
(FWS) Maureen Clark 907-786-3953
(DOI) Shane Wolfe 202-208-6416
Secretary Kempthorne Appoints Federal Subsistence Board Chairman

(WASHINGTON) – Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today announced the appointment of Michael R. Fleagle as Chairman of the Federal Subsistence Board. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns has concurred with the appointment.

Fleagle currently serves as chair of the Alaska Board of Game and general foreman for facility maintenance in the municipality of Anchorage. A lifelong Alaska resident, Fleagle is an Alaska Native (Inupiaq/Athabascan) and has served on the McGrath Native Village Council and as a Tribal First Chief of the council as well as on the McGrath City Council and School Advisory Board.

"Both Michael Fleagle's work and his life experience will prove quite valuable in this important position," Kempthorne said. "Subsistence provides a large share of the food consumed in rural Alaska."

Agriculture Under Secretary Mark Rey said "Mr. Fleagle's leadership to the Subsistence Board will ensure that Alaska's indigenous inhabitants as well as non-Native Alaskans, continue to have access to needed wild foods."

Through the Federal Subsistence Management Program, the federal government manages subsistence uses on federal public lands and waters in Alaska-about 230 million acres, or 60 percent of the land within the state. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, passed by Congress in 1980, mandates that rural residents of Alaska be given a priority for subsistence uses of fish and wildlife. To help carry out the responsibility for subsistence management, the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture established the Federal Subsistence Management Program.

The Board is the decision-making body that oversees the program. It is made up of the regional directors of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs and USDA Forest Service. A representative appointed by the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture serves as chair of the Board.