Changes Proposed for NPS Subsistence Regulations
The National Park Service (NPS) today proposed regulations to allow federal subsistence users in Alaska to collect and use non-edible animal parts and plants for the making and selling of handicrafts. The proposal is open for public comment for 90 days.
Current NPS regulations do not allow people to collect plants for sale or trade, or to collect and use animal parts such as antlers that have been naturally shed or that come from naturally occurring deaths. The proposed rule would make those practices legal for NPS qualified subsistence users under most circumstances. The proposal comes in response to requests by several Subsistence Resource Commissions, groups formed under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), to help guide subsistence management in national parks.
The proposed rule would allow NPS-qualified local rural residents to collect and use non-edible animal parts and plant materials for the creation and subsequent disposition (use, barter, or sale) of handicrafts in accordance with ANILCA.
The NPS also proposes to modify two regulations not specifically related to subsistence collections. First, the rule would limit the types of bait that may be used for taking bears under Federal Subsistence Regulations to native fish or wildlife remains that exist from natural mortality or remains not required to be salvaged from a lawful harvest. This would eliminate items such as dog food, grease, bread, marshmallows, etc. which are currently allowed and commonly used.
The second provision would clarify that collection of live wildlife is not an authorized hunting or trapping practice and therefore not generally allowed. This clarification is necessary based on requests from the public to collect falcon chicks following action taken by the State of Alaska (with the approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) to authorize this practice as hunting.
The proposed regulations were published in the Federal Register and are open for public comment until April 12, 2016. Comments may be submitted, identified by Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1024-AE28, by the following methods:
● Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
● Mail or hand deliver to: National Park Service, Regional Director, Alaska Regional Office, 240 West 5th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501.
The full text of the proposed regulations is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/01/13/2015-33144/alaska-subsistence-collections or by writing to National Park Service, Regional Director, Alaska Regional Office, 240 West 5th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501.