Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska; Rural Determination Process, 68249-68253 [2015-27994]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 213 / Wednesday, November 4, 2015 / Rules and Regulations questions specific to National Forest System lands, contact Thomas Whitford, Regional Subsistence Program Leader, USDA, Forest Service, Alaska Region; (907) 743–9461 or twhitford@fs.fed.us. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service 36 CFR Part 242 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Background Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. FWS–R7–SM–2014–0063; FXRS12610700000–156–FF07J00000; FBMS# 4500086287] RIN 1018–BA62 Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska; Rural Determination Process Forest Service, Agriculture; Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCIES: The Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior are revising the regulations governing the rural determination process for the Federal Subsistence Management Program in Alaska. The Secretaries have removed specific guidelines, including requirements regarding population data, the aggregation of communities, and a decennial review. This change will allow the Federal Subsistence Board (Board) to define which communities or areas of Alaska are nonrural (all other communities and areas would, therefore, be rural). This new process will enable the Board to be more flexible in making decisions and to take into account regional differences found throughout the State. The new process will also allow for greater input from the Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils (Councils), Federally recognized Tribes of Alaska, Alaska Native Corporations, and the public. DATES: This rule is effective November 4, 2015. ADDRESSES: This rule and public comments received on the proposed rule may be found on the Internet at www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R7–SM–2014–0063. Board meeting transcripts are available for review at the Office of Subsistence Management, 1011 East Tudor Road, Mail Stop 121, Anchorage, AK 99503, or on the Office of Subsistence Management Web site (https:// www.doi.gov/subsistence). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chair, Federal Subsistence Board, c/o U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Attention: Eugene R. Peltola, Jr., Office of Subsistence Management; (907) 786– 3888 or subsistence@fws.gov. For rmajette on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:40 Nov 03, 2015 Jkt 238001 Under Title VIII of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) (16 U.S.C. 3111–3126), the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretaries) jointly implement the Federal Subsistence Management Program. This program provides a preference for take of fish and wildlife resources for subsistence uses on Federal public lands and waters in Alaska. The Secretaries published temporary regulations to carry out this program in the Federal Register on June 29, 1990 (55 FR 27114), and published final regulations in the Federal Register on May 29, 1992 (57 FR 22940). The program regulations have subsequently been amended a number of times. Because this program is a joint effort between Interior and Agriculture, these regulations are located in two titles of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): Title 36, ‘‘Parks, Forests, and Public Property,’’ and Title 50, ‘‘Wildlife and Fisheries,’’ at 36 CFR 242.1–242.28 and 50 CFR 100.1–100.28, respectively. The regulations contain subparts as follows: Subpart A, General Provisions; Subpart B, Program Structure; Subpart C, Board Determinations; and Subpart D, Subsistence Taking of Fish and Wildlife. Consistent with Subpart B of these regulations, the Secretaries established a Federal Subsistence Board to administer the Federal Subsistence Management Program. The Board comprises: • A Chair appointed by the Secretary of the Interior with concurrence of the Secretary of Agriculture; • The Alaska Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; • The Alaska Regional Director, U.S. National Park Service; • The Alaska State Director, U.S. Bureau of Land Management; • The Alaska Regional Director, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs; • The Alaska Regional Forester, U.S. Forest Service; and • Two public members appointed by the Secretary of the Interior with concurrence of the Secretary of Agriculture. Through the Board, these agencies and members participate in the development of regulations for subparts C and D, which, among other things, set forth program eligibility and specific harvest seasons and limits. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 68249 In administering the program, the Secretaries divided Alaska into 10 subsistence resource regions, each of which is represented by a Regional Advisory Council. The Councils provide a forum for rural residents with personal knowledge of local conditions and resource requirements to have a meaningful role in the subsistence management of fish and wildlife on Federal public lands in Alaska. The Council members represent varied geographical, cultural, and user interests within each region. Prior Rulemaking On November 23, 1990 (55 FR 48877), the Board published a notice in the Federal Register explaining the proposed Federal process for making rural determinations, the criteria to be used, and the application of those criteria in preliminary determinations. On December 17, 1990, the Board adopted final rural and nonrural determinations, which were published on January 3, 1991 (56 FR 236). Final programmatic regulations were published on May 29, 1992, with only slight variations in the rural determination process (57 FR 22940). As a result of this rulemaking, Federal subsistence regulations at 36 CFR 242.15 and 50 CFR 100.15 require that the rural or nonrural status of communities or areas be reviewed every 10 years, beginning with the availability of the 2000 census data. Because some data from the 2000 census was not compiled and available until 2005, the Board published a proposed rule in 2006 to revise the list of nonrural areas recognized by the Board (71 FR 46416, August 14, 2006). The final rule published in the Federal Register on May 7, 2007 (72 FR 25688). Secretarial Review On October 23, 2009, Secretary of the Interior Salazar announced the initiation of a Departmental review of the Federal Subsistence Management Program in Alaska; Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack later concurred with this course of action. The review focused on how the Program is meeting the purposes and subsistence provisions of Title VIII of ANILCA, and if the Program is serving rural subsistence users as envisioned when it began in the early 1990s. On August 31, 2010, the Secretaries announced the findings of the review, which included several proposed administrative and regulatory reviews and/or revisions to strengthen the Program and make it more responsive to those who rely on it for their subsistence uses. One proposal called E:\FR\FM\04NOR1.SGM 04NOR1 rmajette on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with RULES 68250 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 213 / Wednesday, November 4, 2015 / Rules and Regulations for a review, with Council input, of the rural determination process and, if needed, recommendations for regulatory changes. The Board met on January 20, 2012, to consider the Secretarial directive and the Councils’ recommendations and review all public, Tribal, and Alaska Native Corporation comments on the initial review of the rural determination process. After discussion and deliberation, the Board voted unanimously to initiate a review of the rural determination process and the 2010 decennial review. Consequently, the Board found that it was in the public’s best interest to extend the compliance date of its 2007 final rule (72 FR 25688; May 7, 2007) on rural determinations until after the review of the rural determination process and the decennial review were completed or in 5 years, whichever comes first. The Board published a final rule on March 1, 2012 (77 FR 12477), extending the compliance date. The Board followed this action with a request for comments and announcement of public meetings (77 FR 77005; December 31, 2012) to receive public, Tribal, and Alaska Native Corporations input on the rural determination process. Due to a lapse in appropriations on October 1, 2013, and the subsequent closure of the Federal Government, some of the preannounced public meetings and Tribal consultations to receive comments on the rural determination process during the closure were cancelled. The Board decided to extend the comment period to allow for the complete participation from the Councils, public, Tribes, and Corporations to address this issue (78 FR 66885; November 7, 2013). The Councils were briefed on the Board’s Federal Register documents during their winter 2013 meetings. At their fall 2013 meetings, the Councils provided a public forum to hear from residents of their regions, deliberate on the rural determination process, and provide recommendations for changes to the Board. The Secretaries, through the Board, also held hearings in Barrow, Ketchikan, Sitka, Kodiak, Bethel, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kotzebue, Nome, and Dillingham to solicit comments on the rural determination process. Public testimony was recorded during these hearings. Government-to-government tribal consultations on the rural determination process were held between members of the Board and Federally recognized Tribes of Alaska. Additional consultations were held VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:40 Nov 03, 2015 Jkt 238001 between members of the Board and Alaska Native Corporations. Altogether, the Board received 475 substantive comments from various sources, including individuals, members of the Councils, and other entities or organizations, such as Alaska Native Corporations and borough governments. In general, this information indicated a broad dissatisfaction with the current rural determination process. The aggregation criteria were perceived as arbitrary. The current population thresholds were seen as inadequate to capture the reality of rural Alaska. Additionally, the decennial review was widely viewed to be unnecessary. Based on this information, the Board at their public meeting held on April 17, 2014, elected to recommend a simplification of the process by determining which areas or communities are nonrural in Alaska; all other communities or areas would, therefore, be rural. The Board would make nonrural determinations using a comprehensive approach that considers population size and density, economic indicators, military presence, industrial facilities, use of fish and wildlife, degree of remoteness and isolation, and any other relevant material, including information provided by the public. The Board would rely heavily on the recommendations of the Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils. In summary, based on Council and public comments, Tribal and Alaska Native Corporation consultations, and briefing materials from the Office of Subsistence Management, the Board developed a proposal that simplifies the process of rural determinations and submitted its recommendation to the Secretaries on August 15, 2014. On November 24, 2014, the Secretaries requested that the Board initiate rulemaking to pursue the regulatory changes recommended by the Board. The Secretaries also requested that the Board obtain Council recommendations and public input, and conduct Tribal and Alaska Native Corporation consultation on the proposed changes. If adopted through the rulemaking process, the current regulations would be revised to remove specific guidelines, including requirements regarding population data, the aggregation of communities, and the decennial review, for making rural determinations. Public Review and Comment The Departments published a proposed rule on January 28, 2015 (80 FR 4521), to revise the regulations governing the rural determination PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 process in subpart B of 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100. The proposed rule opened a public comment period, which closed on April 1, 2015. The Departments advertised the proposed rule by mail, radio, newspaper, and social media; comments were submitted via www.regulations.gov to Docket No. FWS–R7–SM–2014–0063. During that period, the Councils received public comments on the proposed rule and formulated recommendations to the Board for their respective regions. In addition, 10 separate public meetings were held throughout the State to receive public comments, and several government-to-government consultations addressed the proposed rule. The Councils had a substantial role in reviewing the proposed rule and making recommendations for the final rule. Moreover, a Council Chair, or a designated representative, presented each Council’s recommendations at the Board’s public work session of July, 28, 2015. The 10 Councils provided the following comments and recommendations to the Board on the proposed rule: Northwest Arctic Subsistence Regional Advisory Council— unanimously supported the proposed rule. Seward Peninsula Subsistence Regional Advisory Council— unanimously supported the proposed rule. Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Subsistence Regional Advisory Council— unanimously supported the proposed rule. Western Interior Alaska Regional Advisory Council—supported the proposed rule. North Slope Subsistence Regional Advisory Council—unanimously supported the proposed rule as written. The Council stated the proposed rule will improve the process and fully supported an expanded role and inclusion of recommendations of the Councils when the Board makes nonrural determinations. The Council wants to be closely involved with the Board when the Board sets policies and criteria for how it makes nonrural determinations under the proposed rule if the rule is approved, and the Council passed a motion to write a letter requesting that the Board involve and consult with the Councils when developing criteria to make nonrural determinations, especially in subject matter that pertains to their specific rural characteristics and personality. Bristol Bay Subsistence Regional Advisory Council—supported switching the focus of the process from rural to E:\FR\FM\04NOR1.SGM 04NOR1 rmajette on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 213 / Wednesday, November 4, 2015 / Rules and Regulations nonrural determinations. They indicated there should be criteria for establishing what is nonrural to make determinations defensible and justifiable, including determinations of the carrying capacity of the area for sustainable harvest, and governmental entities should not determine what is spiritually and culturally important for a community. They supported eliminating the mandatory decennial; however, they requested a minimum time limit between requests (at least 3 years). They discussed deference and supported the idea but felt it did not go far enough. Southcentral Alaska Subsistence Regional Advisory Council—supported the proposed rule with modification. They recommended deference be given to the Councils on the nonrural determinations. Southeast Alaska Subsistence Regional Advisory Council—supported the proposed rule with modification. The Council recommended a modification to the language of the proposed rule: ‘‘The Board determines, after considering the report and recommendations of the applicable regional advisory council, which areas or communities in Alaska are non-rural . . . .’’ The Council stated that this modification is necessary to prevent the Board from adopting proposals contrary to the recommendation(s) of a Council and that this change would increase transparency and prevent rural communities from being subject to the whims of proponents. Kodiak/Aleutians Subsistence Regional Advisory Council—is generally appreciative that the Board has recommended changes to the rural determination process and supported elimination of the decennial review. The Council recommended that the Board implement definitive guidelines for how the Board will make nonrural determinations to avoid subjective interpretations and determinations; that the language of the proposed rule be modified to require the Board to defer to the Councils and to base its justification for not giving deference on defined criteria to avoid ambiguous decisions; that the Board provide program staff with succinct direction for conducting analyses on any proposals to change a community’s status from rural to nonrural; and that the Board develop written policies and guidelines for making nonrural determinations even if there is a lack of criteria in the regulations. The Council is concerned that proposals to change rural status in the region will be frequently submitted from people or entities from outside the region; the Council is opposed to VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:40 Nov 03, 2015 Jkt 238001 proposals of this nature from outside its region and recommends that the Board develop guidelines and restrictions for the proposal process that the Board uses to reassess nonrural status. Eastern Interior Alaska Subsistence Regional Advisory Council—opposed the proposed rule due to the lack of any guiding criteria to determine what is rural or nonrural. They stated the lack of criteria could serve to weaken the rural determination process. They supported greater involvement of the Councils in the Board’s process to make rural/nonrural determinations. This Council was concerned about changes including increasing developments, access pressure on rural subsistence communities and resources, and social conflicts in the Eastern Interior region. A total of 90 substantive comments were submitted from public meetings, letters, deliberations of the Councils, and those submitted via www.regulations.gov. • 54 supported the proposed rule; • 16 neither supported nor opposed the proposed rule; • 7 supported the proposed rule with modifications; • 7 neither supported nor opposed the proposed rule and suggested modifications; and • 6 opposed the proposed rule. Major comments from all sources are addressed below: Comment: The Board should provide, in regulatory language, objective criteria, methods, or guidelines for making nonrural determinations. Response: During the request for public comment (77 FR 77005; December 31, 2012), the overwhelming response from the public was dissatisfaction with the list of regulatory guidelines used to make rural determinations. The Board, at their April 17, 2014, public meeting, stated that if the Secretaries approved the recommended simplification of the rural determination process, the Board would make nonrural determinations using a comprehensive approach that considers, but is not limited to, population size and density, economic indicators, military presence, industrial facilities, use of fish and wildlife, degree of remoteness and isolation, and any other relevant material, including information provided by the public. The Board also indicated that they would rely heavily on the recommendations of the Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils. The Board, at their July 28, 2015, public work session, directed that a subcommittee be established to draft options (policy or rulemaking) to address future rural determinations. The subcommittee options, once reviewed PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 68251 by the Board at their January 12, 2016, public meeting will be presented to the Councils for their review and recommendations. Comment: The Board should give deference to the Regional Advisory Councils on nonrural determinations and place this provision in regulatory language. Response: The Board expressed during its April 2014 and July 2015 meetings that it intends to rely heavily on the recommendations of the Councils and that Council input will be critical in addressing regional differences in the rural determination process. Because the Board has confirmed that Councils will have a meaningful and important role in the process, a change to the regulatory language is neither warranted nor necessary at the present time. Comment: Establish a timeframe for how often proposed changes may be submitted. Response: During previous public comment periods, the decennial review was widely viewed to be unnecessary, and the majority of comments expressed the opinion that there should not be a set timeframe used in this process. The Board has been supportive of eliminating a set timeframe to conduct nonrural determinations. However, this issue may be readdressed in the future if a majority of the Councils support the need to reestablish a nonrural review period. Comment: Redefine ‘‘rural’’ to allow nonrural residents originally from rural areas to come home and participate in subsistence activities. Response: ANILCA and its enacting regulations clearly state that you must be an Alaska resident of a rural area or community to take fish or wildlife on public lands. Any change to that definition is beyond the scope of this rulemaking. Comment: Develop a policy for making nonrural determinations, including guidance on how to analyze proposed changes. Response: The Board, at their July 28, 2015, public work session, directed that a subcommittee be established to draft options (policy or rulemaking) to address future rural determinations that, once completed, will be presented to the Councils for their review and recommendations. Comment: Allow rural residents to harvest outside of the areas or communities of residence. Response: All rural Alaskans may harvest fish and wildlife on public lands unless there is a customary and traditional use determination that identifies the specific community’s or area’s use of particular fish stocks or E:\FR\FM\04NOR1.SGM 04NOR1 68252 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 213 / Wednesday, November 4, 2015 / Rules and Regulations wildlife populations or if there is a closure. Rule Promulgation Process and Related Rulemaking These final regulations reflect Secretarial review and consideration of Board and Council recommendations, Tribal and Alaska Native Corporations government-to-government tribal consultations, and public comments. The public received extensive opportunity to review and comment on all changes. Because this rule concerns public lands managed by an agency or agencies in both the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior, identical text will be incorporated into 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100. Elsewhere in today’s Federal Register is a direct final rule by which the Board is revising the list of rural determinations in subpart C of 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100. See ‘‘Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska; Rural Determinations, Nonrural List’’ in Rules and Regulations. Conformance With Statutory and Regulatory Authorities rmajette on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with RULES Administrative Procedure Act Compliance The Board has provided extensive opportunity for public input and involvement in compliance with Administrative Procedure Act requirements, including publishing a proposed rule in the Federal Register, participation in multiple Council meetings, and opportunity for additional public comment during the Board meeting prior to deliberation. Additionally, an administrative mechanism exists (and has been used by the public) to request reconsideration of the Secretaries’ decision on any particular proposal for regulatory change (36 CFR 242.18(b) and 50 CFR 100.18(b)). Therefore, the Secretaries believe that sufficient public notice and opportunity for involvement have been given to affected persons regarding this decision. In addition, because the direct final rule that is mentioned above and is related to this final rule relieves restrictions for many Alaskans by allowing them to participate in the subsistence program activities, we believe that we have good cause, as required by 5 U.S.C. 553(d), to make this rule effective upon publication. National Environmental Policy Act Compliance A Draft Environmental Impact Statement that described four VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:40 Nov 03, 2015 Jkt 238001 alternatives for developing a Federal Subsistence Management Program was distributed for public comment on October 7, 1991. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was published on February 28, 1992. The Record of Decision (ROD) on Subsistence Management for Federal Public Lands in Alaska was signed April 6, 1992. The selected alternative in the FEIS (Alternative IV) defined the administrative framework of an annual regulatory cycle for subsistence regulations. A 1997 environmental assessment dealt with the expansion of Federal jurisdiction over fisheries. The Secretary of the Interior, with concurrence of the Secretary of Agriculture, determined that expansion of Federal jurisdiction does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the human environment and, therefore, signed a Finding of No Significant Impact. Section 810 of ANILCA An ANILCA section 810 analysis was completed as part of the FEIS process on the Federal Subsistence Management Program. The intent of all Federal subsistence regulations is to accord subsistence uses of fish and wildlife on public lands a priority over the taking of fish and wildlife on such lands for other purposes, unless restriction is necessary to conserve healthy fish and wildlife populations. The final section 810 analysis determination appeared in the April 6, 1992, ROD and concluded that the Program, under Alternative IV with an annual process for setting subsistence regulations, may have some local impacts on subsistence uses, but will not likely restrict subsistence uses significantly. Paperwork Reduction Act An agency may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. This rule does not contain any new collections of information that require OMB approval. OMB has reviewed and approved the collections of information associated with the subsistence regulations at 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100, and assigned OMB Control Number 1018– 0075, which expires February 29, 2016. Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563) Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget will review all PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rule is not significant. Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation’s regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires preparation of flexibility analyses for rules that will have a significant effect on a substantial number of small entities, which include small businesses, organizations, or governmental jurisdictions. In general, the resources to be harvested under this rule are already being harvested and consumed by the local harvester and do not result in an additional dollar benefit to the economy. However, we estimate that two million pounds of meat are harvested by subsistence users annually and, if given an estimated dollar value of $3.00 per pound, this amount would equate to about $6 million in food value Statewide. Based upon the amounts and values cited above, the Departments certify that this rulemaking will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act Under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), this rule is not a major rule. It does not have an effect on the economy of $100 million or more, will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, and does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. E:\FR\FM\04NOR1.SGM 04NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 213 / Wednesday, November 4, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Executive Order 12630 Title VIII of ANILCA requires the Secretaries to administer a subsistence priority on public lands. The scope of this Program is limited by definition to certain public lands. Likewise, these regulations have no potential takings of private property implications as defined by Executive Order 12630. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act The Secretaries have determined and certify pursuant to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, 2 U.S.C. 1502 et seq., that this rulemaking will not impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year on local or State governments or private entities. The implementation of this rule is by Federal agencies, and there is no cost imposed on any State or local entities or tribal governments. Executive Order 12988 The Secretaries have determined that these regulations meet the applicable standards provided in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, regarding civil justice reform. rmajette on DSK7SPTVN1PROD with RULES Executive Order 13132 In accordance with Executive Order 13132, the rule does not have sufficient Federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. Title VIII of ANILCA precludes the State from exercising subsistence management authority over fish and wildlife resources on Federal lands unless it meets certain requirements. Executive Order 13175 Title VIII of ANILCA does not provide specific rights to tribes for the subsistence taking of wildlife, fish, and shellfish. However, the Secretaries, through the Board, provided Federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native corporations opportunities to consult on this rule. Consultation with Alaska Native corporations are based on Public Law 108–199, div. H, Sec. 161, Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 452, as amended by Public Law 108–447, div. H, title V, Sec. 518, Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 3267, which provides that: ‘‘The Director of the Office of Management and Budget and all Federal agencies shall hereafter consult with Alaska Native corporations on the same basis as Indian tribes under Executive Order No. 13175.’’ The Secretaries, through the Board, provided a variety of opportunities for consultation: Commenting on proposed changes to the existing rule; engaging in dialogue at the Council meetings; engaging in dialogue at the Board’s meetings; and providing input in VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:40 Nov 03, 2015 Jkt 238001 person, by mail, email, or phone at any time during the rulemaking process. On March 23 and 24, 2015, the Board provided Federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations a specific opportunity to consult on this rule. Federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations were notified by mail and telephone and were given the opportunity to attend in person or via teleconference. 68253 PART ll—SUBSISTENCE MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS FOR PUBLIC LANDS IN ALASKA 1. The authority citation for both 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 3, 472, 551, 668dd, 3101–3126; 18 U.S.C. 3551–3586; 43 U.S.C. 1733. Subpart B—Program Structure Executive Order 13211 This Executive Order requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. However, this rule is not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 13211, affecting energy supply, distribution, or use, and no Statement of Energy Effects is required. Drafting Information Theo Matuskowitz drafted these regulations under the guidance of Eugene R. Peltola, Jr. of the Office of Subsistence Management, Alaska Regional Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska. Additional assistance was provided by • Daniel Sharp, Alaska State Office, Bureau of Land Management; • Mary McBurney, Alaska Regional Office, National Park Service; • Dr. Glenn Chen, Alaska Regional Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs; • Trevor T. Fox, Alaska Regional Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and • Thomas Whitford, Alaska Regional Office, U.S. Forest Service. Authority This rule is issued under the authority of Title VIII of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) (16 U.S.C. 3111–3126). List of Subjects 36 CFR Part 242 Administrative practice and procedure, Alaska, Fish, National forests, Public lands, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Wildlife. 50 CFR Part 100 Administrative practice and procedure, Alaska, Fish, National forests, Public lands, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Wildlife. Regulation Promulgation For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Secretaries amend 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100 as set forth below. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 2. In subpart B of 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100, § ll.15 is revised to read as follows: ■ § ll.15 Rural determination process. (a) The Board determines which areas or communities in Alaska are nonrural. Current determinations are listed at § ll.23. (b) All other communities and areas are, therefore, rural. Dated: Oct. 28, 2015. Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior. Dated: Sept. 30, 2015. Beth G. Pendleton, Regional Forester, USDA—Forest Service. [FR Doc. 2015–27994 Filed 10–30–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–11–4333–15–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 81 [EPA–R04–OAR–2014–0904; FRL–9936–55– Region 4] Air Plan Approval and Air Quality Designation; TN; Reasonably Available Control Measures and Redesignation for the TN Portion of the Chattanooga 1997 Annual PM2.5 Nonattainment Area Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving the portion of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), on October 15, 2009, that addresses reasonably available control measures (RACM), including reasonably available control technology (RACT), for the Tennessee portion of the Chattanooga, TN-GA-AL nonattainment area for the 1997 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) (hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘Chattanooga TN-GA-AL Area’’ or SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\04NOR1.SGM 04NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 213 (Wednesday, November 4, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 68249-68253]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-27994]



[[Page 68249]]

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

36 CFR Part 242

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 100

[Docket No. FWS-R7-SM-2014-0063; FXRS12610700000-156-FF07J00000; FBMS# 
4500086287]
RIN 1018-BA62


Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska; 
Rural Determination Process

AGENCIES:  Forest Service, Agriculture; Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior are revising 
the regulations governing the rural determination process for the 
Federal Subsistence Management Program in Alaska. The Secretaries have 
removed specific guidelines, including requirements regarding 
population data, the aggregation of communities, and a decennial 
review. This change will allow the Federal Subsistence Board (Board) to 
define which communities or areas of Alaska are nonrural (all other 
communities and areas would, therefore, be rural). This new process 
will enable the Board to be more flexible in making decisions and to 
take into account regional differences found throughout the State. The 
new process will also allow for greater input from the Subsistence 
Regional Advisory Councils (Councils), Federally recognized Tribes of 
Alaska, Alaska Native Corporations, and the public.

DATES: This rule is effective November 4, 2015.

ADDRESSES: This rule and public comments received on the proposed rule 
may be found on the Internet at www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-
R7-SM-2014-0063. Board meeting transcripts are available for review at 
the Office of Subsistence Management, 1011 East Tudor Road, Mail Stop 
121, Anchorage, AK 99503, or on the Office of Subsistence Management 
Web site (https://www.doi.gov/subsistence).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chair, Federal Subsistence Board, c/o 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Attention: Eugene R. Peltola, Jr., 
Office of Subsistence Management; (907) 786-3888 or 
subsistence@fws.gov. For questions specific to National Forest System 
lands, contact Thomas Whitford, Regional Subsistence Program Leader, 
USDA, Forest Service, Alaska Region; (907) 743-9461 or 
twhitford@fs.fed.us.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Under Title VIII of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation 
Act (ANILCA) (16 U.S.C. 3111-3126), the Secretary of the Interior and 
the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretaries) jointly implement the 
Federal Subsistence Management Program. This program provides a 
preference for take of fish and wildlife resources for subsistence uses 
on Federal public lands and waters in Alaska. The Secretaries published 
temporary regulations to carry out this program in the Federal Register 
on June 29, 1990 (55 FR 27114), and published final regulations in the 
Federal Register on May 29, 1992 (57 FR 22940). The program regulations 
have subsequently been amended a number of times. Because this program 
is a joint effort between Interior and Agriculture, these regulations 
are located in two titles of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): 
Title 36, ``Parks, Forests, and Public Property,'' and Title 50, 
``Wildlife and Fisheries,'' at 36 CFR 242.1-242.28 and 50 CFR 100.1-
100.28, respectively. The regulations contain subparts as follows: 
Subpart A, General Provisions; Subpart B, Program Structure; Subpart C, 
Board Determinations; and Subpart D, Subsistence Taking of Fish and 
Wildlife.
    Consistent with Subpart B of these regulations, the Secretaries 
established a Federal Subsistence Board to administer the Federal 
Subsistence Management Program. The Board comprises:
     A Chair appointed by the Secretary of the Interior with 
concurrence of the Secretary of Agriculture;
     The Alaska Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service;
     The Alaska Regional Director, U.S. National Park Service;
     The Alaska State Director, U.S. Bureau of Land Management;
     The Alaska Regional Director, U.S. Bureau of Indian 
Affairs;
     The Alaska Regional Forester, U.S. Forest Service; and
     Two public members appointed by the Secretary of the 
Interior with concurrence of the Secretary of Agriculture.
    Through the Board, these agencies and members participate in the 
development of regulations for subparts C and D, which, among other 
things, set forth program eligibility and specific harvest seasons and 
limits.
    In administering the program, the Secretaries divided Alaska into 
10 subsistence resource regions, each of which is represented by a 
Regional Advisory Council. The Councils provide a forum for rural 
residents with personal knowledge of local conditions and resource 
requirements to have a meaningful role in the subsistence management of 
fish and wildlife on Federal public lands in Alaska. The Council 
members represent varied geographical, cultural, and user interests 
within each region.

Prior Rulemaking

    On November 23, 1990 (55 FR 48877), the Board published a notice in 
the Federal Register explaining the proposed Federal process for making 
rural determinations, the criteria to be used, and the application of 
those criteria in preliminary determinations. On December 17, 1990, the 
Board adopted final rural and nonrural determinations, which were 
published on January 3, 1991 (56 FR 236). Final programmatic 
regulations were published on May 29, 1992, with only slight variations 
in the rural determination process (57 FR 22940). As a result of this 
rulemaking, Federal subsistence regulations at 36 CFR 242.15 and 50 CFR 
100.15 require that the rural or nonrural status of communities or 
areas be reviewed every 10 years, beginning with the availability of 
the 2000 census data.
    Because some data from the 2000 census was not compiled and 
available until 2005, the Board published a proposed rule in 2006 to 
revise the list of nonrural areas recognized by the Board (71 FR 46416, 
August 14, 2006). The final rule published in the Federal Register on 
May 7, 2007 (72 FR 25688).

Secretarial Review

    On October 23, 2009, Secretary of the Interior Salazar announced 
the initiation of a Departmental review of the Federal Subsistence 
Management Program in Alaska; Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack later 
concurred with this course of action. The review focused on how the 
Program is meeting the purposes and subsistence provisions of Title 
VIII of ANILCA, and if the Program is serving rural subsistence users 
as envisioned when it began in the early 1990s.
    On August 31, 2010, the Secretaries announced the findings of the 
review, which included several proposed administrative and regulatory 
reviews and/or revisions to strengthen the Program and make it more 
responsive to those who rely on it for their subsistence uses. One 
proposal called

[[Page 68250]]

for a review, with Council input, of the rural determination process 
and, if needed, recommendations for regulatory changes.
    The Board met on January 20, 2012, to consider the Secretarial 
directive and the Councils' recommendations and review all public, 
Tribal, and Alaska Native Corporation comments on the initial review of 
the rural determination process. After discussion and deliberation, the 
Board voted unanimously to initiate a review of the rural determination 
process and the 2010 decennial review. Consequently, the Board found 
that it was in the public's best interest to extend the compliance date 
of its 2007 final rule (72 FR 25688; May 7, 2007) on rural 
determinations until after the review of the rural determination 
process and the decennial review were completed or in 5 years, 
whichever comes first. The Board published a final rule on March 1, 
2012 (77 FR 12477), extending the compliance date.
    The Board followed this action with a request for comments and 
announcement of public meetings (77 FR 77005; December 31, 2012) to 
receive public, Tribal, and Alaska Native Corporations input on the 
rural determination process.
    Due to a lapse in appropriations on October 1, 2013, and the 
subsequent closure of the Federal Government, some of the preannounced 
public meetings and Tribal consultations to receive comments on the 
rural determination process during the closure were cancelled. The 
Board decided to extend the comment period to allow for the complete 
participation from the Councils, public, Tribes, and Corporations to 
address this issue (78 FR 66885; November 7, 2013).
    The Councils were briefed on the Board's Federal Register documents 
during their winter 2013 meetings. At their fall 2013 meetings, the 
Councils provided a public forum to hear from residents of their 
regions, deliberate on the rural determination process, and provide 
recommendations for changes to the Board.
    The Secretaries, through the Board, also held hearings in Barrow, 
Ketchikan, Sitka, Kodiak, Bethel, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kotzebue, Nome, 
and Dillingham to solicit comments on the rural determination process. 
Public testimony was recorded during these hearings. Government-to-
government tribal consultations on the rural determination process were 
held between members of the Board and Federally recognized Tribes of 
Alaska. Additional consultations were held between members of the Board 
and Alaska Native Corporations.
    Altogether, the Board received 475 substantive comments from 
various sources, including individuals, members of the Councils, and 
other entities or organizations, such as Alaska Native Corporations and 
borough governments. In general, this information indicated a broad 
dissatisfaction with the current rural determination process. The 
aggregation criteria were perceived as arbitrary. The current 
population thresholds were seen as inadequate to capture the reality of 
rural Alaska. Additionally, the decennial review was widely viewed to 
be unnecessary.
    Based on this information, the Board at their public meeting held 
on April 17, 2014, elected to recommend a simplification of the process 
by determining which areas or communities are nonrural in Alaska; all 
other communities or areas would, therefore, be rural. The Board would 
make nonrural determinations using a comprehensive approach that 
considers population size and density, economic indicators, military 
presence, industrial facilities, use of fish and wildlife, degree of 
remoteness and isolation, and any other relevant material, including 
information provided by the public. The Board would rely heavily on the 
recommendations of the Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils.
    In summary, based on Council and public comments, Tribal and Alaska 
Native Corporation consultations, and briefing materials from the 
Office of Subsistence Management, the Board developed a proposal that 
simplifies the process of rural determinations and submitted its 
recommendation to the Secretaries on August 15, 2014.
    On November 24, 2014, the Secretaries requested that the Board 
initiate rulemaking to pursue the regulatory changes recommended by the 
Board. The Secretaries also requested that the Board obtain Council 
recommendations and public input, and conduct Tribal and Alaska Native 
Corporation consultation on the proposed changes. If adopted through 
the rulemaking process, the current regulations would be revised to 
remove specific guidelines, including requirements regarding population 
data, the aggregation of communities, and the decennial review, for 
making rural determinations.

Public Review and Comment

    The Departments published a proposed rule on January 28, 2015 (80 
FR 4521), to revise the regulations governing the rural determination 
process in subpart B of 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100. The 
proposed rule opened a public comment period, which closed on April 1, 
2015. The Departments advertised the proposed rule by mail, radio, 
newspaper, and social media; comments were submitted via 
www.regulations.gov to Docket No. FWS-R7-SM-2014-0063. During that 
period, the Councils received public comments on the proposed rule and 
formulated recommendations to the Board for their respective regions. 
In addition, 10 separate public meetings were held throughout the State 
to receive public comments, and several government-to-government 
consultations addressed the proposed rule. The Councils had a 
substantial role in reviewing the proposed rule and making 
recommendations for the final rule. Moreover, a Council Chair, or a 
designated representative, presented each Council's recommendations at 
the Board's public work session of July, 28, 2015.
    The 10 Councils provided the following comments and recommendations 
to the Board on the proposed rule:
    Northwest Arctic Subsistence Regional Advisory Council--unanimously 
supported the proposed rule.
    Seward Peninsula Subsistence Regional Advisory Council--unanimously 
supported the proposed rule.
    Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Subsistence Regional Advisory Council--
unanimously supported the proposed rule.
    Western Interior Alaska Regional Advisory Council--supported the 
proposed rule.
    North Slope Subsistence Regional Advisory Council--unanimously 
supported the proposed rule as written. The Council stated the proposed 
rule will improve the process and fully supported an expanded role and 
inclusion of recommendations of the Councils when the Board makes 
nonrural determinations. The Council wants to be closely involved with 
the Board when the Board sets policies and criteria for how it makes 
nonrural determinations under the proposed rule if the rule is 
approved, and the Council passed a motion to write a letter requesting 
that the Board involve and consult with the Councils when developing 
criteria to make nonrural determinations, especially in subject matter 
that pertains to their specific rural characteristics and personality.
    Bristol Bay Subsistence Regional Advisory Council--supported 
switching the focus of the process from rural to

[[Page 68251]]

nonrural determinations. They indicated there should be criteria for 
establishing what is nonrural to make determinations defensible and 
justifiable, including determinations of the carrying capacity of the 
area for sustainable harvest, and governmental entities should not 
determine what is spiritually and culturally important for a community. 
They supported eliminating the mandatory decennial; however, they 
requested a minimum time limit between requests (at least 3 years). 
They discussed deference and supported the idea but felt it did not go 
far enough.
    Southcentral Alaska Subsistence Regional Advisory Council--
supported the proposed rule with modification. They recommended 
deference be given to the Councils on the nonrural determinations.
    Southeast Alaska Subsistence Regional Advisory Council--supported 
the proposed rule with modification. The Council recommended a 
modification to the language of the proposed rule: ``The Board 
determines, after considering the report and recommendations of the 
applicable regional advisory council, which areas or communities in 
Alaska are non-rural . . . .'' The Council stated that this 
modification is necessary to prevent the Board from adopting proposals 
contrary to the recommendation(s) of a Council and that this change 
would increase transparency and prevent rural communities from being 
subject to the whims of proponents.
    Kodiak/Aleutians Subsistence Regional Advisory Council--is 
generally appreciative that the Board has recommended changes to the 
rural determination process and supported elimination of the decennial 
review. The Council recommended that the Board implement definitive 
guidelines for how the Board will make nonrural determinations to avoid 
subjective interpretations and determinations; that the language of the 
proposed rule be modified to require the Board to defer to the Councils 
and to base its justification for not giving deference on defined 
criteria to avoid ambiguous decisions; that the Board provide program 
staff with succinct direction for conducting analyses on any proposals 
to change a community's status from rural to nonrural; and that the 
Board develop written policies and guidelines for making nonrural 
determinations even if there is a lack of criteria in the regulations. 
The Council is concerned that proposals to change rural status in the 
region will be frequently submitted from people or entities from 
outside the region; the Council is opposed to proposals of this nature 
from outside its region and recommends that the Board develop 
guidelines and restrictions for the proposal process that the Board 
uses to reassess nonrural status.
    Eastern Interior Alaska Subsistence Regional Advisory Council--
opposed the proposed rule due to the lack of any guiding criteria to 
determine what is rural or nonrural. They stated the lack of criteria 
could serve to weaken the rural determination process. They supported 
greater involvement of the Councils in the Board's process to make 
rural/nonrural determinations. This Council was concerned about changes 
including increasing developments, access pressure on rural subsistence 
communities and resources, and social conflicts in the Eastern Interior 
region.
    A total of 90 substantive comments were submitted from public 
meetings, letters, deliberations of the Councils, and those submitted 
via www.regulations.gov.
     54 supported the proposed rule;
     16 neither supported nor opposed the proposed rule;
     7 supported the proposed rule with modifications;
     7 neither supported nor opposed the proposed rule and 
suggested modifications; and
     6 opposed the proposed rule.
    Major comments from all sources are addressed below:
    Comment: The Board should provide, in regulatory language, 
objective criteria, methods, or guidelines for making nonrural 
determinations.
    Response: During the request for public comment (77 FR 77005; 
December 31, 2012), the overwhelming response from the public was 
dissatisfaction with the list of regulatory guidelines used to make 
rural determinations. The Board, at their April 17, 2014, public 
meeting, stated that if the Secretaries approved the recommended 
simplification of the rural determination process, the Board would make 
nonrural determinations using a comprehensive approach that considers, 
but is not limited to, population size and density, economic 
indicators, military presence, industrial facilities, use of fish and 
wildlife, degree of remoteness and isolation, and any other relevant 
material, including information provided by the public. The Board also 
indicated that they would rely heavily on the recommendations of the 
Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils. The Board, at their July 28, 
2015, public work session, directed that a subcommittee be established 
to draft options (policy or rulemaking) to address future rural 
determinations. The subcommittee options, once reviewed by the Board at 
their January 12, 2016, public meeting will be presented to the 
Councils for their review and recommendations.
    Comment: The Board should give deference to the Regional Advisory 
Councils on nonrural determinations and place this provision in 
regulatory language.
    Response: The Board expressed during its April 2014 and July 2015 
meetings that it intends to rely heavily on the recommendations of the 
Councils and that Council input will be critical in addressing regional 
differences in the rural determination process. Because the Board has 
confirmed that Councils will have a meaningful and important role in 
the process, a change to the regulatory language is neither warranted 
nor necessary at the present time.
    Comment: Establish a timeframe for how often proposed changes may 
be submitted.
    Response: During previous public comment periods, the decennial 
review was widely viewed to be unnecessary, and the majority of 
comments expressed the opinion that there should not be a set timeframe 
used in this process. The Board has been supportive of eliminating a 
set timeframe to conduct nonrural determinations. However, this issue 
may be readdressed in the future if a majority of the Councils support 
the need to reestablish a nonrural review period.
    Comment: Redefine ``rural'' to allow nonrural residents originally 
from rural areas to come home and participate in subsistence 
activities.
    Response: ANILCA and its enacting regulations clearly state that 
you must be an Alaska resident of a rural area or community to take 
fish or wildlife on public lands. Any change to that definition is 
beyond the scope of this rulemaking.
    Comment: Develop a policy for making nonrural determinations, 
including guidance on how to analyze proposed changes.
    Response: The Board, at their July 28, 2015, public work session, 
directed that a subcommittee be established to draft options (policy or 
rulemaking) to address future rural determinations that, once 
completed, will be presented to the Councils for their review and 
recommendations.
    Comment: Allow rural residents to harvest outside of the areas or 
communities of residence.
    Response: All rural Alaskans may harvest fish and wildlife on 
public lands unless there is a customary and traditional use 
determination that identifies the specific community's or area's use of 
particular fish stocks or

[[Page 68252]]

wildlife populations or if there is a closure.

Rule Promulgation Process and Related Rulemaking

    These final regulations reflect Secretarial review and 
consideration of Board and Council recommendations, Tribal and Alaska 
Native Corporations government-to-government tribal consultations, and 
public comments. The public received extensive opportunity to review 
and comment on all changes.
    Because this rule concerns public lands managed by an agency or 
agencies in both the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior, 
identical text will be incorporated into 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR 
part 100.
    Elsewhere in today's Federal Register is a direct final rule by 
which the Board is revising the list of rural determinations in subpart 
C of 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100. See ``Subsistence Management 
Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska; Rural Determinations, Nonrural 
List'' in Rules and Regulations.

Conformance With Statutory and Regulatory Authorities

Administrative Procedure Act Compliance

    The Board has provided extensive opportunity for public input and 
involvement in compliance with Administrative Procedure Act 
requirements, including publishing a proposed rule in the Federal 
Register, participation in multiple Council meetings, and opportunity 
for additional public comment during the Board meeting prior to 
deliberation. Additionally, an administrative mechanism exists (and has 
been used by the public) to request reconsideration of the Secretaries' 
decision on any particular proposal for regulatory change (36 CFR 
242.18(b) and 50 CFR 100.18(b)). Therefore, the Secretaries believe 
that sufficient public notice and opportunity for involvement have been 
given to affected persons regarding this decision. In addition, because 
the direct final rule that is mentioned above and is related to this 
final rule relieves restrictions for many Alaskans by allowing them to 
participate in the subsistence program activities, we believe that we 
have good cause, as required by 5 U.S.C. 553(d), to make this rule 
effective upon publication.

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    A Draft Environmental Impact Statement that described four 
alternatives for developing a Federal Subsistence Management Program 
was distributed for public comment on October 7, 1991. The Final 
Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was published on February 28, 
1992. The Record of Decision (ROD) on Subsistence Management for 
Federal Public Lands in Alaska was signed April 6, 1992. The selected 
alternative in the FEIS (Alternative IV) defined the administrative 
framework of an annual regulatory cycle for subsistence regulations.
    A 1997 environmental assessment dealt with the expansion of Federal 
jurisdiction over fisheries. The Secretary of the Interior, with 
concurrence of the Secretary of Agriculture, determined that expansion 
of Federal jurisdiction does not constitute a major Federal action 
significantly affecting the human environment and, therefore, signed a 
Finding of No Significant Impact.

Section 810 of ANILCA

    An ANILCA section 810 analysis was completed as part of the FEIS 
process on the Federal Subsistence Management Program. The intent of 
all Federal subsistence regulations is to accord subsistence uses of 
fish and wildlife on public lands a priority over the taking of fish 
and wildlife on such lands for other purposes, unless restriction is 
necessary to conserve healthy fish and wildlife populations. The final 
section 810 analysis determination appeared in the April 6, 1992, ROD 
and concluded that the Program, under Alternative IV with an annual 
process for setting subsistence regulations, may have some local 
impacts on subsistence uses, but will not likely restrict subsistence 
uses significantly.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to 
respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently 
valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. This rule 
does not contain any new collections of information that require OMB 
approval. OMB has reviewed and approved the collections of information 
associated with the subsistence regulations at 36 CFR part 242 and 50 
CFR part 100, and assigned OMB Control Number 1018-0075, which expires 
February 29, 2016.

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget will 
review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rule is not 
significant.
    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while 
calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote 
predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. 
The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches 
that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for 
the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and 
consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further 
that regulations must be based on the best available science and that 
the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open 
exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent 
with these requirements.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) 
requires preparation of flexibility analyses for rules that will have a 
significant effect on a substantial number of small entities, which 
include small businesses, organizations, or governmental jurisdictions. 
In general, the resources to be harvested under this rule are already 
being harvested and consumed by the local harvester and do not result 
in an additional dollar benefit to the economy. However, we estimate 
that two million pounds of meat are harvested by subsistence users 
annually and, if given an estimated dollar value of $3.00 per pound, 
this amount would equate to about $6 million in food value Statewide. 
Based upon the amounts and values cited above, the Departments certify 
that this rulemaking will not have a significant economic effect on a 
substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    Under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (5 
U.S.C. 801 et seq.), this rule is not a major rule. It does not have an 
effect on the economy of $100 million or more, will not cause a major 
increase in costs or prices for consumers, and does not have 
significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, 
productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to 
compete with foreign-based enterprises.

[[Page 68253]]

Executive Order 12630

    Title VIII of ANILCA requires the Secretaries to administer a 
subsistence priority on public lands. The scope of this Program is 
limited by definition to certain public lands. Likewise, these 
regulations have no potential takings of private property implications 
as defined by Executive Order 12630.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Secretaries have determined and certify pursuant to the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, 2 U.S.C. 1502 et seq., that this 
rulemaking will not impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given 
year on local or State governments or private entities. The 
implementation of this rule is by Federal agencies, and there is no 
cost imposed on any State or local entities or tribal governments.

Executive Order 12988

    The Secretaries have determined that these regulations meet the 
applicable standards provided in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive 
Order 12988, regarding civil justice reform.

Executive Order 13132

    In accordance with Executive Order 13132, the rule does not have 
sufficient Federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a 
Federalism summary impact statement. Title VIII of ANILCA precludes the 
State from exercising subsistence management authority over fish and 
wildlife resources on Federal lands unless it meets certain 
requirements.

Executive Order 13175

    Title VIII of ANILCA does not provide specific rights to tribes for 
the subsistence taking of wildlife, fish, and shellfish. However, the 
Secretaries, through the Board, provided Federally recognized Tribes 
and Alaska Native corporations opportunities to consult on this rule. 
Consultation with Alaska Native corporations are based on Public Law 
108-199, div. H, Sec. 161, Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 452, as amended by 
Public Law 108-447, div. H, title V, Sec. 518, Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 
3267, which provides that: ``The Director of the Office of Management 
and Budget and all Federal agencies shall hereafter consult with Alaska 
Native corporations on the same basis as Indian tribes under Executive 
Order No. 13175.''
    The Secretaries, through the Board, provided a variety of 
opportunities for consultation: Commenting on proposed changes to the 
existing rule; engaging in dialogue at the Council meetings; engaging 
in dialogue at the Board's meetings; and providing input in person, by 
mail, email, or phone at any time during the rulemaking process.
    On March 23 and 24, 2015, the Board provided Federally recognized 
Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations a specific opportunity to consult 
on this rule. Federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native 
Corporations were notified by mail and telephone and were given the 
opportunity to attend in person or via teleconference.

Executive Order 13211

    This Executive Order requires agencies to prepare Statements of 
Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. However, this rule is 
not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 13211, affecting energy 
supply, distribution, or use, and no Statement of Energy Effects is 
required.

Drafting Information

    Theo Matuskowitz drafted these regulations under the guidance of 
Eugene R. Peltola, Jr. of the Office of Subsistence Management, Alaska 
Regional Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska. 
Additional assistance was provided by
     Daniel Sharp, Alaska State Office, Bureau of Land 
Management;
     Mary McBurney, Alaska Regional Office, National Park 
Service;
     Dr. Glenn Chen, Alaska Regional Office, Bureau of Indian 
Affairs;
     Trevor T. Fox, Alaska Regional Office, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service; and
     Thomas Whitford, Alaska Regional Office, U.S. Forest 
Service.

Authority

    This rule is issued under the authority of Title VIII of the Alaska 
National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) (16 U.S.C. 3111-
3126).

List of Subjects

36 CFR Part 242

    Administrative practice and procedure, Alaska, Fish, National 
forests, Public lands, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Wildlife.

50 CFR Part 100

    Administrative practice and procedure, Alaska, Fish, National 
forests, Public lands, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Wildlife.

Regulation Promulgation

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Secretaries amend 36 
CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100 as set forth below.

PART __--SUBSISTENCE MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS FOR PUBLIC LANDS IN 
ALASKA

0
1. The authority citation for both 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100 
continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 3, 472, 551, 668dd, 3101-3126; 18 U.S.C. 
3551-3586; 43 U.S.C. 1733.

Subpart B--Program Structure

0
2. In subpart B of 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100, Sec.  __.15 is 
revised to read as follows:


Sec.  __.15  Rural determination process.

    (a) The Board determines which areas or communities in Alaska are 
nonrural. Current determinations are listed at Sec.  __.23.
    (b) All other communities and areas are, therefore, rural.

    Dated: Oct. 28, 2015.
Sally Jewell,
Secretary of the Interior.
    Dated: Sept. 30, 2015.
Beth G. Pendleton,
Regional Forester, USDA--Forest Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-27994 Filed 10-30-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-11-4333-15-P