Date: January 12, 2017
Contact: John Quinley, 907-644-3512
The National Park Service today published final regulations in the Federal Register which allow federal subsistence users in Alaska to collect and use non-edible animal parts and plants for the making and selling of handicrafts.
Regulations had not allowed people to collect plants for sale or trade, or to collect and use animal parts such as antlers that had been naturally shed or that came from naturally occurring deaths. The new regulations make those practices legal for NPS qualified subsistence users under most circumstances. The proposal for the regulation came in response to requests by several Subsistence Resource Commissions, groups formed under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), to help guide subsistence management in national parks.
The rule will allow NPS-qualified local rural residents to collect and use non-edible animal parts and plant materials for the creation and subsequent disposition (use, barter, or sale) of handicrafts in accordance with ANILCA.
The regulations published today also include two restrictions not specifically related to subsistence collections. The rule limits the types of bait that may be used for taking bears under Federal Subsistence Regulations to native fish or wildlife remains that exist from natural mortality or remains not required to be salvaged from a lawful harvest. This would eliminate items such as dog food, grease, bread, marshmallows, etc. which are currently allowed and commonly used.
Based on public comment, the proposed rule was modified to allow the superintendent of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve to issue a permit to allow use of human-produced foods upon a determination that such use is compatible with park purposes and values and the applicant does not have reasonable access to natural materials that could be used as bait. The exception for Wrangell-St. Elias was based on documented history of bear baiting.
The second provision clarifies that collecting of live wildlife is not an authorized hunting or trapping practice and therefore not generally allowed. This clarification was necessary based on requests from the public to collect falcon chicks in national preserves (where sport hunting and trapping are legal).