50 CFR § 18.134 - Procedure to obtain a Letter of Authorization (LOA).

§ 18.134 Procedure to obtain a Letter of Authorization (LOA).

(a) The applicant must submit the request for authorization to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Alaska Region Marine Mammals Management Office (MMM), MS 341, 1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, Alaska, 99503, at least 90 days prior to the start of the proposed activity.

(b) The request for an LOA must comply with the requirements set forth in §§ 18.137 through 18.139 and must include the following information:

(1) A plan of operations that describes in detail the proposed activity (type of project, methods, and types and numbers of equipment and personnel, etc.), the dates and duration of the activity, and the specific locations of and areas affected by the activity. Changes to the proposed project without prior authorization may invalidate an LOA.

(2) A site-specific marine mammal monitoring and mitigation plan to monitor and mitigate the effects of the activity on sea otters.

(3) An assessment of potential effects of the proposed activity on subsistence hunting of sea otters.

(i) The applicant must communicate with potentially affected subsistence communities along the Cook Inlet coast and appropriate subsistence user organizations to discuss the location, timing, and methods of proposed activities and identify any potential conflicts with subsistence hunting activities.

(ii) The applicant must specifically inquire of relevant communities and organizations if the proposed activity will interfere with the availability of sea otters for the subsistence use of those groups.

(iii) The applicant must include documentation of consultations with potentially affected user groups. Documentation must include a list of persons contacted, a summary of input received, any concerns identified by community members and hunter organizations, and the applicant's responses to identified concerns.

(iv) If any concerns regarding effects of the activity on sea otter subsistence harvest are identified, the applicant will provide to the Service a Plan of Cooperation (POC) with specific steps for addressing those concerns, including a schedule for ongoing community engagement and suggested measures that will be implemented to mitigate any potential conflicts with subsistence hunting.

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