Federal Subsistence Board holds work session, approves 2018 Fisheries Resource Monitoring Program plan and Delegation of Authority letters

The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) held a work session February 22 – 23, 2018, in Anchorage, and took action on three items: The 2018 Fisheries Resource Monitoring Program (FRMP) plan, Delegation of Authority letters for the Kuskokwim and Cook Inlet areas, and revisions to the Federal Subsistence Board Policy on Closures to Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing on Federal Public Lands in Alaska.

Last edited 01/25/2022
Contact Information

Caron McKee
(907) 786-3880 or (800) 478-1456

Meeting materials from this work session can be found at https://www.doi.gov/subsistence/archives.

The Board voted unanimously to approve the 2018 FRMP plan as recommended. This grant package will be forwarded on to the Department of the Interior for additional approval. No final decisions on project funding will be made until the Federal government’s continuing resolution status is resolved. The Board directed the Office of Subsistence Management to lead a programmatic review of the FRMP to develop ways to improve the program. This review will include other pertinent parties.  

The Board discussed and approved Delegation of Authority letters for the Kuskokwim and Cook Inlet areas and at the approval of the Chair, heard comments from the Kuskokwim River Intertribal Fish Commission and the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge Manager. In the Kuskokwim Area Delegation of Authority Letter, the Board approved inserting a date of March 15 for pre-season meetings of representatives involved in Federal management of subsistence fisheries on the river, and a date of June 1 for written reports to be submitted to the Board, outlining the in-season collaborative decision-making actions taken and the outcome of the determination process for Federal management of the fishery. 

The Board adopted a policy change to begin reviewing closures on a staggered four-year cycle, with half of all closures reviewed every two years, and the other half in the following two years. This will align the closure review process with the biennial regulatory cycle adopted in 2009, allow the program to be responsive to required changes sooner should conditions merit such an action, and provide for more public input. 

In addition to the three action items, the Board was briefed on the status of the Cook Inlet Area Federal Subsistence Fisheries Proposed Rule. These regulations are being revised to simplify language and remove duplication. The new draft breaks down individual fisheries of Cook Inlet to reduce confusion and does not remove any regulations. This Proposed Rule will go through a public comment process once it has been published in the Federal Register. 

The Board heard updates on 2017 Regional Advisory Councils (RAC) appointment vetting and on new language added to the RAC Charters. The Board was also briefed on ongoing Tribal engagement efforts, such as increasing outreach through schools and working more closely with Refuge Information Technicians.

The Board discussed future meeting dates: The Federal Subsistence Wildlife Regulatory Public Meeting will take place April 10 – 13, 2018 at the Egan Center in Anchorage, and the next Federal Subsistence Fish and Shellfish Regulatory meeting will take place in January 2019. 

Additional information on the Federal Subsistence Management Program may be found on the web at www.doi.gov/subsistence or by visiting www.facebook.com/subsistencealaska.

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