Federal Takeover of Fisheries: October 1, 1999

Federal Subsistence Board: "New regulations expanding federal subsistence fisheries management in Alaska become effective today. The regulations govern subsistence fishing on rivers and lakes within and alongside more than 200 million acres of National Park Service lands, representing about 60 percent of Alaska's waters. "It is truly unfortunate for citizens of Alaska that their Legislature did not give them the opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment to provide a rural subsistence priority," Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt said. "We are assuming management of subsistence fisheries in Alaska as ordered by the court, but continue to encourage the Legislature to work toward state resumption, by adopting the sound policies contained in Title VIII of ANILCA into the State's constitution. Subsistence management by the State is best for the resources and best for the people.""

Alaska Dept of Fish and Game: "With the failure of the eight Senators to place a constitutional amendment before the voters, the federal government will take control of subsistence fishing on federal reserved waters, adding to its present authority to manage subsistence hunting on federal public lands. The result will place Alaska's fish and game resources under dual management with one system regulated by the state and another by the federal government.

"The Department of Fish and Game now faces its greatest challenge since statehood," said Frank Rue, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. "As we move into dual management of subsistence fishing, we have several very clear and specific goals. First and foremost, we are going to insure that our fish and wildlife resources are protected. Second, we must maintain subsistence opportunities and continue to provide for other fishing opportunities to the greatest extent possible. Finally, we are going to work to make sure the federal system makes maximum use of the state's experience and expertise.""

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