The Federal Subsistence Board held a work session last week to hear a briefing on how the 2000 Census review of rural determinations had been conducted. The work session focused on a review of the regulations that govern the rural determination process and the criteria that were used to make determinations following the 2000 Census.
A release states the Board committed to providing the subsistence regional advisory councils a list of possible regulation changes for them to review and make recommendations on during the next series of council meetings scheduled for August through October. Following review of the councils’ recommendations, the Board would recommend potential changes to the rural determination process regulations to the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture, who have the authority to enact such changes.
Current regulations for the rural determination process require that the rural status of Alaska communities be reviewed every 10 years with the availability of census data. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act mandates that rural Alaskans be given a priority for subsistence uses of fish and wildlife on Federal public lands. Only communities or areas that are found to be rural are eligible for this subsistence priority.
Materials from this meeting will be made available at alaska.fws.gov/asm/issue.cfml. The schedule of upcoming subsistence regional advisory council meetings is available at alaska.fws.gov/asm/rac.cfml.