§801. The Congress finds and declares that--
(1) the continuation of the opportunity for subsistence uses by rural residents of Alaska, including both Natives and non-Natives, on the public lands and by Alaska Natives on Native lands is essential to Native physical, economic, traditional, and cultural existence and to non-Native physical, economic, traditional, and social existence;
(2) the situation in Alaska is unique in that, in most cases, no practical alternative means are available to replace the food supplies and other items gathered from fish and wildlife which supply rural residents dependent on subsistence uses;
(3) continuation of the opportunity for subsistence uses of resources on public and other lands in Alaska is threatened by the increasing population of Alaska, with resultant pressure on subsistence resources, by sudden decline in the populations of some wildlife species which are crucial subsistence resources, by increased accessibility of remote areas containing subsistence resources, and by taking of fish and wildlife in a manner inconsistent with recognized principles of fish and wildlife management;
(4) in order to fulfill the policies and purposes of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and as a matter of equity, it is necessary for the Congress to invoke its constitutional authority over Native affairs and its constitutional authority under the property clause and the commerce clause to protect and provide the opportunity for continued subsistence uses on the public lands by Native and non-Native rural residents; and
(5) the national interest in the proper regulation, protection and conservation of fish and wildlife on the public lands in Alaska and the continuation of the opportunity for a subsistence way of life by residents of rural Alaska require that an administrative structure be established for the purpose of enabling rural residents who have personal knowledge of local conditions and requirements to have a meaningful role in the management of fish and wildlife and of subsistence uses on the public lands in Alaska.
§802. It is hereby declared to be the policy of Congress that--
(1) consistent with sound management principles, and the conservation of healthy populations of fish and wildlife, the utilization of the public lands in Alaska is to cause the least adverse impact possible on rural residents who depend upon subsistence uses of the resources of such lands; consistent with management of fish and wildlife in accordance with recognized scientific principles and the purposes for each unit established, designated, or expanded by or pursuant to Titles II through VII of this Act, the purpose of this title is to provide the opportunity for rural residents engaged in a subsistence way of life to do so;
(2) nonwasteful subsistence uses of fish and wildlife and other renewable resources shall be the priority consumptive uses of all such resources on the public lands of Alaska when it is necessary to restrict taking in order to assure the continued viability of a fish or wildlife population or the continuation of subsistence uses of such population, the taking of such population for nonwasteful subsistence uses shall be given preference on the public lands over other consumptive uses; and
(3) except as otherwise provided by this Act or other Federal laws, Federal land managing agencies, in managing subsistence activities on the public lands and in protecting the continued viability of all wild renewable resources in Alaska, shall cooperate with adjacent landowners and land managers, including Native Corporations, appropriate State and Federal agencies and other nations.
§803. As used in this Act, the term "subsistence uses" means the customary and traditional uses by rural Alaska residents of wild renewable resources for direct personal or family consumption as food, shelter, fuel, clothing, tools, or transportation; for the making and selling of handicraft articles out of nonedible byproducts of fish and wildlife resources taken for personal or family consumption; for barter, or sharing for personal or family consumption; and for customary trade. For the purposes of this section, the term--
(1) "family" means all persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption, or any person living within the household on a permanent basis; and
(2) "barter" means the exchange of fish or wildlife or their parts, taken for subsistence uses--
(A) for other fish or game or their parts; or
(B) for other food or for nonedible items other than money if the exchange is of a limited and noncommercial nature.
PREFERENCE FOR SUBSISTENCE USE
§804. Except as otherwise provided in this Act and other Federal laws, the taking on public lands of fish and wildlife for nonwasteful subsistence uses shall be accorded priority over the taking on such lands of fish and wildlife for other purposes. Whenever it is necessary to restrict the taking of populations of fish and wildlife on such lands for subsistence uses in order to protect the continued viability of such populations, or to continue such uses, such priority shall be implemented through appropriate limitations based on the application of the following criteria:
(1) customary and direct dependence upon the populations as the mainstay of livelihood;
(2) local residency; and
(3) the availability of alternative resources.
LOCAL AND REGIONAL PARTICIPATION
§805. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this section, one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary in consultation with the State shall establish--
(1) at least six Alaska subsistence resource regions which taken together, include all public lands. The number and boundaries of the regions shall be sufficient to assure that regional differences in subsistence uses are adequately accommodated;
(2) such local advisory committees within each region as he finds necessary at such time as he may determine, after notice and hearing, that the existing State fish and game advisory committees do not adequately perform the functions of the local committee system set forth in paragraph (3)(D)(iv) of this subsection; and
(3) a regional advisory council in each subsistence resource region. Each regional advisory council shall be composed of residents of the region and shall have the following authority:
(A) the review and evaluation of proposals for regulations policies, management plans, and other matters relating to subsistence uses of fish and wildlife within the region;
(B) the provision of a forum for the expression of opinions and recommendations by persons interested in any matter related to the subsistence uses of fish and wildlife within the region;
(C) the encouragement of local and regional participation pursuant to the provisions of this title in the decision making process affecting the taking of fish and wildlife on the public lands within the region for subsistence uses;
(D) the preparation of an annual report to the Secretary which shall contain--
(i) an identification of current and anticipated subsistence uses of fish and wildlife populations within the region;
(ii) an evaluation of current and anticipated subsistence needs for fish and wildlife populations within the region;
(iii) a recommended strategy for the management of fish and wildlife populations within the region to accommodate such subsistence uses and needs; and
(iv) recommendations concerning policies, standards guidelines, and regulations to implement the strategy. The State fish and game advisory committees or such local advisory committees as the Secretary may establish pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection may provide advice to and assist, the regional advisory councils in carrying out the functions set forth in this paragraph.
(b) The Secretary shall assign adequate qualified staff to the regional advisory councils and make timely distribution of all available relevant technical and scientific support data to the regional advisory councils and the State fish and game advisory committees or such local advisory committees as the Secretary may establish pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (a).
(c) The Secretary, in performing his monitoring responsibility pursuant to §806 and in the exercise of his closure and other administrative authority over the public lands, shall consider the report and recommendations of the regional advisory councils concerning the taking of fish and wildlife on the public lands within their respective regions for subsistence uses. The Secretary may choose not to follow any recommendation which he determines is not supported by substantial evidence, violates recognized principles of fish and wildlife conservation, or would be detrimental to the satisfaction of subsistence needs. If a recommendation is not adopted by the Secretary, he shall set forth the factual basis and the reasons for his decision.
(d) The Secretary shall not implement subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section if within one year from the date of enactment of this Act the State enacts and implements laws of general applicability which are consistent with, and which provide for the definition, preference and participation specified in, §§803, 804, and 805, such laws unless and until repealed, shall supersede such sections insofar as such sections govern State responsibility pursuant to this title for the taking of fish and wildlife on the public lands for subsistence uses Laws establishing a system of local advisory committees and regional advisory councils consistent with §805 shall provide that the State rule making authority shall consider the advice and recommendations of the regional councils concerning the taking of fish and wildlife populations on public lands within their respective regions for subsistence uses. The regional councils may present recommendations, and the evidence upon which such recommendations are based to the State rule making authority during the course of the administrative proceedings of such authority. The State rule making authority may choose not to follow any recommendation which it determines is not supported by substantial evidence presented during the course of its administrative proceedings, violates recognized principles of fish and wildlife conservation or would be detrimental to the satisfaction of rural subsistence needs. If a recommendation is not adopted by the State rule making authority, such authority shall set forth the factual basis and the reasons for its decision.
(e)(1) The Secretary shall reimburse the State, from funds appropriated to the Department of the Interior for such purposes, for reasonable costs relating to the establishment and operation of the regional advisory councils established by the State in accordance with subsection (d) and the operation of the State fish and game advisory committees so long as such committees are not superseded by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (a). Such reimbursement may not exceed 50 per centum of such costs in any fiscal year. Such costs shall be verified in a statement which the Secretary determines to be adequate and accurate. Sums paid under this subsection shall be in addition to any grants, payments, or other sums to which the State is entitled from appropriations to the Department of the Interior.
(2) Total payments to the State under this subsection shall not exceed the sum of $5,000,000 in any one fiscal year. The Secretary shall advise the Congress at least once in every five years as to whether or not the maximum payments specified in this subsection are adequate to ensure the effectiveness of the program established by the State to provide the preference for subsistence uses of fish and wildlife set forth in §804.
§806. The Secretary shall monitor the provisions by the State of the subsistence preference set forth in §804 and shall advise the State and the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs and on Merchant Marine and Fisheries of the House of Representatives and the Committees on Energy and Natural Resources and Environment and Public Works of the Senate annually and at such other times as he deems necessary of his views on the effectiveness of the implementation of this title including the State's provision of such preference, any exercise of his closure or other administrative authority to protect subsistence resources or uses, the views of the State, and any recommendations he may have.
§807. (a) Local residents and other persons and organizations aggrieved a failure of the State or the Federal Government to provide for the priority for subsistence uses set forth in §804 (or with respect to the State as set forth in a State law of general applicability if the State has fulfilled the requirements of §805(d)) may, upon exhaustion of any State or Federal (as appropriate) administrative remedies which may be available, file a civil action in the United States District Court for the District of Alaska to require such actions to be taken as are necessary to provide for the priority. In a civil action filed against the State, the Secretary may be joined as a party to such action. The court may grant preliminary injunctive relief in any civil action if the granting of such relief is appropriate under the facts upon which the action is based. No order granting preliminary relief shall be issued until after an opportunity for hearing. In a civil action filed against the State, the court shall provide relief, other than preliminary relief, by directing the State to submit regulations which satisfy the requirements of §804 when approved by the court, such regulations shall be incorporated as part of the final judicial order, and such order shall be valid only for such period of time as normally provided by State law for the regulations at issue. Local residents and other persons and organizations who are prevailing parties in an action filed pursuant to this section shall be awarded their costs and attorney's fees.
(b) A civil action filed pursuant to this section shall be assigned for hearing at the earliest possible date, shall take precedence over other matters pending on the docket of the United States district court at that time, and shall be expedited in every way by such court and any appellate court.
(c) This section is the sole Federal judicial remedy created by this title for local residents and other residents who, and organizations which, are aggrieved by a failure of the State to provide for the priority of subsistence uses set forth in §804.
PARK AND PARK MONUMENT SUBSISTENCE RESOURCE COMMISSIONS
§808. (a) Within one year from the date of enactment of this Act the Secretary and the Governor shall each appoint three members to a subsistence resources commission for each national park or park monument within which subsistence uses are permitted by this Act. The regional advisory council established pursuant to §805 which has jurisdiction within the area in which the park or park monument is located shall appoint three members to the commission each of whom is a member of either the regional advisory council or a local advisory committee within the region and also engages in subsistence uses within the park or park monument. Within eighteen months from the date of enactment of this Act, each commission shall devise and recommend to the Secretary and the Governor a program for subsistence hunting within the park or park monument. Such program shall be prepared using technical information and other pertinent data assembled or produced by necessary field studies or investigations conducted jointly or separately by the technical and administrative personnel of the State and the Department of Interior, information submitted by, and after consultation with the appropriate local advisory committees and regional advisory councils, and any testimony received in a public hearing or hearings held by the commission prior to preparation of the plan at a convenient location or locations in the vicinity of the park or park monument. Each year thereafter. the commission, after consultation with the appropriate local committees and regional councils, considering all relevant data and holding one or more additional hearings in the vicinity of the park or park monument, shall make recommendations to the Secretary and the Governor for any changes in the program or its implementation which the commission deems necessary.
(b) The Secretary shall promptly implement title program and recommendations submitted to him by each commission unless he finds in writing that such program or recommendations violates recognized principles of wildlife conservation, threatens the conservation of healthy populations of wildlife in the park or park monument, is contrary to the purposes for which the park or park monument is established, or would be detrimental to the satisfaction of subsistence needs of local residents. Upon notification by the Governor, the Secretary shall take no action on a submission of a commission for sixty days during which period he shall consider any proposed changes in the program or recommendations submitted by the commission which the Governor provides him.
(c) Pending the implementation of a program under subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall permit subsistence uses by local residents in accordance with the provisions of this title and other applicable Federal and State law.
§809. The Secretary may enter into cooperative agreements or otherwise cooperate with other Federal agencies, the State. Native Corporations, other appropriate persons and organizations, and acting through the Secretary of State, other nations to effectuate the purposes and policies of this title.
SUBSISTENCE AND LAND USE DECISIONS
§810. (a) In determining whether to withdraw, reserve, lease, or otherwise permit the use, occupancy, or disposition of public lands under any provision of law authorizing such actions, the head of the Federal agency having primary jurisdiction over such lands or his designee shall evaluate the effect of such use, occupancy, or disposition on subsistence uses and needs, the availability of other lands for the purposes sought to be achieved, and other alternatives which would reduce or eliminate the use, occupancy, or disposition of public lands needed for subsistence purposes. No such withdrawal, reservation, ]ease, permit, or other use, occupancy or disposition of such lands which would significantly restrict subsistence uses shall be effected until the head of such Federal agency--
(1) gives notice to the appropriate State agency and the appropriate local committees and regional councils established pursuant to §805;
(2) gives notice of, and holds, a hearing in the vicinity of the area involved; and
(3) determines that--
(A) such a significant restriction of subsistence uses is necessary, consistent with sound management principles for the utilization of the public lands,
(B) the proposed activity will involve the minimal amount of public lands necessary to accomplish the purposes of such use, occupancy, or other disposition, and
(C) reasonable steps will be taken to minimize adverse impacts upon subsistence uses and resources resulting from such actions.
(b) If the Secretary is required to prepare an environmental impact statement pursuant to §102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act, he shall provide the notice and hearing and include the findings required by subsection (a) as part of such environmental impact statement.
(c) Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit or impair the ability of the State or any Native Corporation to make land selections and receive land conveyances pursuant to the Alaska Statehood Act or the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
(d) After compliance with the procedural requirements of this section and other applicable law, the head of the appropriate Federal agency may manage or dispose of public lands under his primary jurisdiction for any of those uses or purposes authorized by this Act or other law.
§811. (a) The Secretary shall ensure that rural residents engaged in subsistence uses shall have reasonable access to subsistence resources on the public lands.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act or other law the Secretary shall permit on the public lands appropriate use for subsistence purposes of snowmobiles, motorboats, and other means of surface transportation traditionally employed for such purposes by local residents, subJect to reasonable regulation.
§812. The Secretary, in cooperation with the State and other appropriate Federal agencies, shall undertake research on fish and wildlife and subsistence uses on the public lands, seek data from, consult with and make use of, the special knowledge of local residents engaged in subsistence uses; and make the results of such research available to the State, the local and regional councils established by the Secretary or State pursuant to §805, and other appropriate persons and organizations.
§813. Within four years after the date of enactment of this Act and within every three-year period thereafter, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall prepare and submit a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the implementation of this title. The report shall include--
(1) an evaluation of the results of the monitoring undertaken by the Secretary as required by §806;
(2) the status of fish and wildlife populations on public lands that are subject to subsistence uses;
(3) a description of the nature and extent of subsistence uses and other uses of fish and wildlife on the public lands;
(4) the role of subsistence uses in the economy and culture of rural Alaska;
(5) comments on the Secretary's report by the State, the local advisory councils and regional advisory councils established by the Secretary or the State pursuant to §805, and other appropriate persons and organizations;
(6) a description of those actions taken, or which may need to be taken in the future, to permit the opportunity for continuation of activities relating to subsistence uses on the public lands;
(7) such other recommendations the Secretary deems appropriate. A notice of the report shall be published in the Federal Register and the report shall be made available to the public.
§814. The Secretary shall prescribe such regulations as are necessary and appropriate to carry out his responsibilities under this title.
LIMITATIONS, SAVINGS CLAUSES
§815. Nothing in this title shall be construed as--
(1) granting any property right in any fish or wildlife or other resource of the public lands or as permitting the level of subsistence uses of fish and wildlife within a conservation system unit to be inconsistent with the conservation of healthy populations, and within a national park or monument to be inconsistent with the conservation of natural and healthy populations, of fish and wildlife. No privilege which may be granted by the State to any individual with respect to subsistence uses may be assigned to any other individual;
(2) permitting any subsistence use of fish and wildlife on any portion of the public lands (whether or not within any conservation system unit) which was permanently closed to such uses on January 1, 1978, or enlarging or diminishing the Secretary's authority to manipulate habitat on any portion of the public lands;
(3) authorizing a restriction on the taking of fish and wildlife for nonsubsistence uses on the public lands (other than national parks and park monuments) unless necessary for the conservation of healthy populations of fish and wildlife, for the reasons set forth in §816, to continue subsistence uses of such populations, or pursuant to other applicable law; or
(4) modifying or repealing the provisions of any Federal law governing the conservation or protection of fish and wildlife, including the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (80 Stat. 927- 16 U.S.C. 668dd-jj), the National Park Service Organic Act (39 Stat. 535, 16 U.S.C. 1, 2, 3, 4), the Fur Seal Act of 1966 (80 Stat. 1091, 16 U.S.C. 1187), the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (87 Stat. 884 16 U.S.C. 1531-1543), the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (86 Stat. 1027; 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407), the Act entitled "An Act for the Protection of the Bald Eagle", approved June 8, 1940 (54 Stat. 250; 16 U.S.C. 742a-754), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (40 Stat. 755;16 U.S.C. 703-711), the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (50 Stat. 917- 16 U.S.C. 669-669i), the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (90 Stat. 331;16 U.S.C. 1801-1882), the Federal Aid in Fish Restoration Act (64 Stat. 430; 16 U.S.C. 777-777K), or ally amendments to any one or more of such Acts.
CLOSURE TO SUBSISTENCE USES
§816. (a) All national parks and park monuments in Alaska shall be closed to the taking of wildlife except for subsistence uses to the extent specifically permitted by this Act. Subsistence uses and sport fishing shall be authorized in such areas by the Secretary and carried out in accordance with the requirements of this title and other applicable laws of the United States and the State of Alaska.
(b) Except as specifically provided otherwise by this section, nothing in this title is intended to enlarge or diminish the authority of the Secretary to designate areas where, and establish periods when, no taking of fish and wildlife shall be permitted on the public lands for reasons of public safety, administration, or to assure the continued viability of a particular fish or wildlife population. Notwithstanding any other provision of tins Act or other law, the Secretary, after consultation with the State and adequate notice and public hearing may temporarily close any public lands (including those within any conservation system unit), or any portion thereof, to subsistence uses of a particular fish or wildlife population only if necessary for reasons of public safety, administration, or to assure the continued viability of such population. If the Secretary determines that an emergency situation exists and that extraordinary measures must be taken for public safety or to assure the continued viability of a particular fish or wildlife population, the Secretary may immediately close the public lands, or any portion thereof, to the subsistence uses of such population and shall publish the reasons justifying the closure in the Federal Register. Such emergency closure shall be effective when made, shall not extend for a period exceeding sixty days, and may not subsequently be extended unless the Secretary affirmatively establishes, after notice and public hearing, that such closure should he extended.