A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Federal Subsistence Board Approves Changes to Subsistence Hunting Regulations
Last edited 7/10/2015
Federal Subsistence Board Approves Changes to Subsistence Hunting Regulations, Makes Recommendations on the Rural Determinations Process, and Approves Changes to Kuskokwim Chinook Management
The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) met April 15-18, 2014 in Anchorage to consider 55 proposed changes to the Federal subsistence hunting and trapping regulations, recommend changes to the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture on the Rural Determination process, and consider fisheries special actions affecting the Kuskokwim River. The Board also conducted Tribal and Alaska Native Corporation consultations on the wildlife regulatory proposals, the Rural Determination process, and the special actions.
Rural Determination Process
As directed in the Secretarial review of the Federal Subsistence Management Program, the Federal Subsistence Board, with Regional Advisory Council input, conducted a public review of the current rural determination process. A summary and analysis of the public, Regional Advisory Council, Tribal and Alaska Native Corporation comments was presented to the Board. The Board discussed several options and voted to recommend to the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture that the current regulations be revised to allow for the Board to determine which areas or communities in Alaska are nonrural; all other communities and areas would therefore be rural.
Changes to the Subsistence Hunting and Trapping Regulations
The Board adopted 39 of the 55 proposed changes to Federal hunting and trapping regulations. Among the changes approved by the Board are:
• Permit requirements for caribou in Units 9A, 9B, 9C, 17A, 17B, 17C, 18, 19A, and 19B.
• Subarea RG245 in Unit 6D was opened to the harvest of mountain goats by Federally qualified subsistence users
• The harvest limits were increased, the season dates extended, and the boundaries of the areas for the harvest of moose were modified in Unit 18.
• The Red Sheep and Cane Creek drainages remained closed to non-Federally qualified subsistence hunters during the Aug 10-Sept. 20 sheep season in the Arctic Village Sheep Management Area of Unit 25.
• Changes were made to the harvest limits, season dates, number of permits issued in Units 22D and 22B to protect the continued viability of the muskox population and the continued subsistence uses of muskox. In addition an 804 analysis conducted under Section 804 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), which establishes a priority among Federally qualified subsistence users, was adopted by the Board.
• The harvest quota for moose by residents in Units 26C and 26B remainder was increased from 3 to 5.
• Residents of Units 20E, 25B, 25C, and 25D were added to the customary and traditional use determination for sheep.
The Federal subsistence hunting and trapping regulations, effective July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2016, will be available statewide by mid-June. The regulations also will be posted on the Federal Subsistence Management Program website, http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/index.cfm
Fishery Special Actions
The Federal Subsistence Board took action on two Kuskokwim River Chinook Salmon Special Action requests:
• The Board approved the special action request to allow the use of dip nets to take salmon in the Kuskokwim River drainage, with the provision that all Chinook salmon caught be released immediately.
• The Board adopted the special action to close the Federal public waters that are within and adjacent to the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge to the harvest of Chinook salmon except by the residents of the Kuksokwim drainage and the villages of Chefornak, Kipnuk, Kwigillingok, and Kongiganek.
• Additionally, the Board delegated the authority to the in-season manager the authority to determine when the 60-day emergency special actions would start.