16 U.S. Code § 539b - Fisheries on national forest lands in Alaska
(a) Regulations for protection and maintenance of habitats
The Secretary of Agriculture shall, in consultation with the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior, and with the State of Alaska, pursuant to his existing authority to manage surface resources, promulgate such reasonable regulations as he determines necessary after consideration of existing laws and regulations to maintain the habitats, to the maximum extent feasible, of anadromous fish and other foodfish, and to maintain the present and continued productivity of such habitat when such habitats are affected by mining activities on national forest lands in Alaska. The Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the State, shall assess the effects on the populations of such fish in determinations made pursuant to this subsection.
(b) Approved plan for mining operations; requirements; review; modification; suspension of activities
Because of the large scale of contemplated mining operations and the proximity of such operations to important fishery resources, with respect to mining operations in the Quartz Hill area of the Tongass National Forest, the regulations of the Secretary shall, pursuant to this subsection, include a requirement that all mining operations involving significant surface disturbance shall be in accordance with an approved plan of operations. Before approving any proposed plan or distinct stages of such plan of operations for any such claims when any fishery habitat or fishery value may be affected, the Secretary shall, in consultation with the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior and the State of Alaska, determine—
(1) that such plan or stages of such plan are based upon and shall include studies or information which he determines are adequate for—
(A) evaluating the water quality and water quantity, fishery habitat, and other fishery values of the affected area; and
(2) that such plan adequately identifies the risks the operations under such plan or such stages might pose to and the benefits the operations under such plan might provide to—
(A) the natural stability and the present and continued productivity of anadromous fish and other foodfish;
(3) that such plan includes provisions which he determines are adequate for the purposes of—
(A) preventing significant adverse environmental impacts to the fishery habitat (including but not limited to water quality and water quantity) or other fishery values; and
(A) the Secretary shall ensure, to the maximum extent feasible, that the cumulative effects of activities carried out under the operating plan will not interfere with the ability to collect baseline information needed by the Secretary to evaluate the effects of various stages of the operating plan on the fishery habitat and productivity of such habitats;
(B) the Secretary shall review such plan and mining activities on at least an annual basis. With respect to any mining or associated activities, the Secretary, if he determines upon notice and hearing, that the activities are harmful to the continued productivity of anadromous fish, or other foodfish populations or fishery habitat, shall require a modification of the plan to eliminate or mitigate, if necessary, the harmful effects of such activities; and
(5) upon a finding by the Secretary that a mining activity conducted as a part of a mining operation exists which constitutes a threat of irreparable harm to anadromous fish, or other foodfish populations or their habitat, and that immediate correction is required to prevent such harm, he may require such activity to be suspended for not to exceed seven days, provided the activity may be resumed at the end of said seven-day period unless otherwise required by a United States district court.
(c) Authority of State of Alaska to manage fish and wildlife
Nothing in this section shall enlarge or diminish the responsibility and authority of the State of Alaska to manage fish and wildlife or to exercise its other responsibilities under applicable law.
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