(a) The Board shall establish a Regional Council for each subsistence resource region to participate in the Federal subsistence management program. The Regional Councils shall be established, and conduct their activities, in accordance with the FACA. The Regional Councils shall provide a regional forum for the collection and expression of opinions and recommendations on matters related to subsistence taking and uses of fish and wildlife resources on public lands. The Regional Councils shall provide for public participation in the Federal regulatory process.
(b)Establishment of Regional Councils; membership.
(1) The Secretaries, based on Board recommendation, will establish the number of members for each Regional Council. To ensure that each Council represents a diversity of interests, the Board will strive to ensure that 70 percent of the members represent subsistence interests within a region and 30 percent of the members represent commercial and sport interests within a region. The portion of membership that represents the commercial and sport interests shall include, where possible, at least one representative from the sport community and one representative from the commercial community. A Regional Council member must be a resident of the region in which he or she is appointed and must be knowledgeable about the region and subsistence uses of the public lands therein. The Board will accept nominations and make recommendations to the Secretaries for membership on the Regional Councils. In making their recommendations, the Board will identify the interest(s) the applicants propose to represent on the respective Regional Councils. The Secretary of the Interior with the concurrence of the Secretary of Agriculture will make the appointments to the Regional Councils.
(2) Regional Council members shall serve 3-year terms and may be reappointed. Initial members shall be appointed with staggered terms up to 3 years.
(3) The Chair of each Regional Council shall be elected by the applicable Regional Council, from its membership, for a 1-year term and may be reelected.
(c)Powers and Duties.
(1) The Regional Councils are authorized to:
(i) Hold public meetings related to subsistence uses of fish and wildlife within their respective regions, after the Chair of the Board or the designated Federal Coordinator has called the meeting and approved the meeting agenda;
(ii) Elect officers;
(iii) Review, evaluate, and make recommendations to the Board on proposals for regulations, policies, management plans, and other matters relating to the subsistence take of fish and wildlife under the regulations in this part within the region;
(iv) Provide 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;
(v) Encourage local and regional participation, pursuant to the provisions of the regulations in this part in the decisionmaking process affecting the taking of fish and wildlife on the public lands within the region for subsistence uses;
(vi) Prepare and submit to the Board an annual report containing—
(A) An identification of current and anticipated subsistence uses of fish and wildlife populations within the region;
(B) An evaluation of current and anticipated subsistence needs for fish and wildlife populations from the public lands within the region;
(C) A recommended strategy for the management of fish and wildlife populations within the region to accommodate such subsistence uses and needs related to the public lands; and
(D) Recommendations concerning policies, standards, guidelines, and regulations to implement the strategy;
(vii) Appoint members to each Subsistence Resource Commission within their region in accordance with the requirements of Section 808 of ANILCA;
(viii) Make recommendations on determinations of customary and traditional use of subsistence resources;
(ix) Make recommendations on determinations of rural status;
(x) Make recommendations regarding the allocation of subsistence uses among rural Alaska residents pursuant to § 242.17;
(xi) Develop proposals pertaining to the subsistence taking and use of fish and wildlife under the regulations in this part, and review and evaluate such proposals submitted by other sources;
(xii) Provide recommendations on the establishment and membership of Federal Advisory Committees.
(2) The Regional Councils shall:
(i) Operate in conformance with the provisions of FACA and comply with rules of operation established by the Board;
(ii) Perform other duties specified by the Board.
(3) The Regional Council recommendations to the Board should be supported by substantial evidence, be consistent with recognized principles of fish and wildlife conservation, and not be detrimental to the satisfaction of subsistence needs.