(a)Regions identified. To allow for maximum participation by residents of subsistence eligible areas, the Alaska Regional Director of the Service established 12 geographic regions based on common subsistence resource use patterns and the 12 Alaska Native regional corporation boundaries established under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Despite using the Alaska Native regional corporation boundaries, we are not working directly with the regional corporations in this program and are instead working with the Alaska Native nonprofit groups and local governments in those corresponding regions. You may obtain records and maps delineating the boundaries of the 12 regions from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Alaska State Office, 222 West 7th Ave., No. 13, Anchorage, AK 99513. The regions are identified as follows:
(1) Aleutian/Pribilof Islands;
(2) Kodiak Archipelago;
(3) Bristol Bay;
(4) Yukon/Kuskokwim Delta;
(5) Bering Strait/Norton Sound;
(6) Northwest Arctic;
(7) North Slope;
(10) Gulf of Alaska;
(11) Upper Copper River; and
(12) Cook Inlet.
(b)Regional partnerships. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will establish partner agreements with at least 1 partner organization in each of the 12 regions. The partner organization identified must be willing and able to coordinate the regional program on behalf of all subsistence hunters within that region. A regional partner will:
(1) Organize or identify one or more management bodies within the region in which it is located.
(2) Determine how the management body for the region should be organized, the manner in which it should function, its size, who serves on it, the length of terms, methods of involving subsistence users, and other related matters.
(3) Coordinate regional meetings and the solicitation of proposals.
(4) Ensure appointment of a person to represent the region by serving on the Co-management Council. If a region consists of more than one partner organization, each partner organization may appoint a member to sit on the Co-management Council.
(5) Keep the residents of villages within the region informed of issues related to the subsistence harvest of migratory birds.
(6) Work cooperatively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to gather harvest data, numbers of subsistence users, and other management data and traditional knowledge for the benefit of the management bodies.
(c)Regional management bodies.
(1) Regional management bodies must provide a forum for the collection and expression of opinions and recommendations regarding spring and summer subsistence harvesting of migratory birds. They must develop requests and recommendations from the region to be presented to the Co-management Council for deliberation. They must provide for public participation in the meetings at which recommendations and requests are formulated.
(2) Requests and recommendations to the Co-management Council may involve seasons and bag limits, methods and means, law enforcement policies, population and harvest monitoring, education programs, research and use of traditional knowledge, habitat protection, and other concerns related to migratory bird subsistence programs.
(3) Regional management bodies may be established specifically for the purpose of carrying out the responsibilities identified in this part, or they may be existing entities that can add these responsibilities to their existing duties.