The Kodiak and Aleutian Federal Subsistence Advisory Council is meeting today and tomorrow here in Kodiak. According to Carl Johnson with the Office of Subsistence Management in Anchorage, the meeting this year will be on fisheries topics.
“Right now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Federal Subsistence Management program are accepting calls for federal fisheries proposals to change regulations. Which means you could either alter the harvest method or the season or even close or open certain species to fishing or shellfish harvest. So one of the things is the opportunities for the public to present, or for the council itself to present federal fisheries regulatory proposals.”
The council will also be getting an update on the rural determination criteria review started a year ago.
“The Federal Subsistence Board had a public comment seeking input on how to change the criteria used to determine which communities are rural or non-rural for the federal subsistence management program. That public comment period is closed, the public comments are being collated and the council will be getting a written briefing on what recommendations the other nine regional advisory councils made as part of their process, and then the council itself will be finalizing its formal comments to the federal subsistence board on the rural determination review.”
The regional council will also be updated on tribal and Native Corporation consultation policies.
“A while ago the Federal Subsistence Board adopted a formal tribal consultation protocol. And what has been happening since then is developing the guidelines on how to implement that tribal consultation protocol or policy. So the council will be briefed, and the public will be briefed on those implementation guidelines. And it’ll be an opportunity for the public or tribal governments to provide comment on that. There’s also going to be a review of the current draft policy on how the Federal Subsistence Board will consult with ANCSA corporations. Now this is the first look of the public at this new draft of the ANCSA consultation policy. So again, if any of the village or regional corporations or their representatives, or the public would like to comment on that, this would be a good opportunity for them.”
Johnson said that in addition to an opportunity for public comment during each agenda item the council will be addressing, a time is set aside each morning for comment on anything that is not on the agenda.
He added that there is an open recruitment period for people interested in serving on a Regional Subsistence Council, and applications will be available at the meeting, which this (Thursday) morning at 9 in the Harbor Room at the Kodiak Inn. A second session will be held on Friday.