By Libby Casey
The Federal Subsistence Board may get two new rural public members. Getting more rural members has long been requested by Alaska Native subsistence users, who say their viewpoint needs to be better represented.
The Board makes decisions over subsistence hunting and fishing on federal lands and in federal waters.
Right now the board’s members are the regional directors of federal agencies including the National Park Service, U-S Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (and Bureau of Land Management and the U-S Forest Service)… and a chairman appointed by the Interior and Agriculture Secretaries. Current Chairman Tom Towarak from Unalakleet is the only rural subsistence user on the board.
The proposal to bring on two more rural, public members comes from a review of federal subsistence management in the state.
The public can comment on the plan for the next two months. Then the board will meet in May to make recommendations to the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture.