Title VIII states:
Sec. 801: Congress recognized both Alaska Natives and non-Natives as subsistence users in rural areas. Congress also invoked its authority in Native affairs.
Sec. 802, "It is hereby declared to bethe policy of Congress that- (1) consistent with sound management principles, and the conservation of healthy populations of fish and wildlife...the purpose of this title is to provide the opportunity for rural residents engaged in a subsistence way of life to do so..."
Sec. 803: Subsistence users are "...customary and traditional uses by rural Alaska residents of wild renewable resources..." Residence zones were established for subsistence eligibility inside National Park areas.
Sec. 804: When resources are low, subsistence people get the priority. When not all subsistence uses can be accommodated, further restrictions based on: a. customary and direct dependence; b. local residency; c. availability of alternative resources.
Sec. 805: There shall be a recognized system of local Fish and Game Advisory Committees. Regional Subsistence Advisory Councils will be established. Council recommendations are the rule and can only be rejected if: a. not supported by evidence; b. the recommendations violate recognized principles of wildlife management; c. adverse to subsistence uses.
Sealaska Native Corporation:
Title VIII of ANILCA seeks to do the right thing. It supports Alaska Natives as they engage in their desperate battle to protect and preserve their tribal subsistence lifestyle. Title VIII represents a further example of an attempt by the federal government to balance the State's right to manage fish and game against the rights of Alaska Native people to continue to enjoy a subsistence lifestyle without undue interference by State fish and game managers.
Representative Moris Udall of Arizona (his quote is speaking of HR Bill 39, an early version of Title VIII of ANILCA):
"As I have mentioned earlier, and as the subsistence title itself specifically states, it is the intent of this legislation to protect the Alaska Native subsistence way of life, and the Alaska Native culture of which it is a primary and essential element, for generation upon generation, for as long as the Alaska Native people themselves choose to participate in that way of life, and to leave for the Alaska Native people themselves, rather than to Federal and State resource managers, the choice as to the direction and pace, if any, of the evolution of the subsistence way of life and of Alaska Native culture. The subsistence provisions are included in recognition of the ongoing responsibility of the Congress to protect the opportunity for continued subsistence uses in Alaska by the Alaska Native people, a responsibility consistent with our well recognized constitutional authority to manage Indian affairs."
Title VIII provides the core of subsistence protection in federal law. In it Congress directed that subsistence uses of fish and wildlife by rural Alaska residents be given priority over other consumptive uses. The Natives did argue for stated 'Native priority' but had to settle for rural priority. Congress chose to determine subsistence by geography rather than by race.
David Hullen of the Anchorage Daily News:
"Congress said taht on federal land (60 % of AK), subsistence hunting and fishing has priority over sport hunting and fishing. to qualify, subsistence users must live in rural areas, have a customary dependence on fish and game, use local stocks,andhave limited availability of other sources of food. The state may be allowed to manage resources on federal land as long as Alaska follows the rules set up by Congress."
Dick and Mary Bishop:
1980 -- ANLCA including Title VIII which provides that all rural residents have a priority for "customary and traditional uses" of fish and game. Note: rural, not Native.
Alaska Federation of Natives Conference guide and agenda: "ANILCA required a subsistence priority for rural residents on Federal "public lands". It also said the State of AK could manage fish and game on all lands if it enacted a law granting a subsistence priority to rural residents, in compliance with ANILCA."
University of Alaska at Anchorage Rural Development 255 Course Syllabus: "ANILCA. Title 8-Subsistence Management and Use of ANILCA establishes federal policy on subsistence by defining subsistence uses as "customary and traditional uses by rural Alaska residents," subsistence priority established in federal law; system of local and regional advisory committees and councils expanded; state management of subsistence uses on federal public lands allowed provided that state policy meets ANILCA standards."
Alaska Federation of Natives' Subsistence Chronology: "ANILCA: Title 8 was a statutory remedy for the preceding decade of subsistence mismanagement. It imposed on federal lands and waters, in times of resource shortage, a legal priority for the subsistence practices of rural Alaskans. People who qualify for the priority are last to be CUT when shortages require that human take be reduced. Other ANILCA protections are in place at all times; but the priority kicks in only in time of cutbacks, when it is necessary to protect the species or their habitats.
Not wishing to create 2 conflicting systems on different lands and waters, Title 8 offered the State the right to manage subsistence on the federal, state, and private domains, if it would pass a state law giving the same rural priority on all lands and waters. Natives had wanted a NATIVE priority,not just a rural priority, but Congress would not define subsistence users by race or culture. Natives felt this was an inadequate level of protection, but that's all they got."
Heather Noble, Alaska Law Review: "Title VIII was enacted to change the status quo, which Congress found gave rural residents too little input into subsistence management. In title VIII, Congress included a finding that to protect subsistence "an administrative structure [must] be established for the purpose of enabling rural residents who have personal knowledge of local conditions and requirements to have a meaningful role in the management of. . . subsistence uses on the public lands in Alaska." Congress made a deliberate choice to give regional councils more than an advisory role. The House rejected two earlier versions of the bill in which the councils' powers were merely advisory."
Scott Ogan, Representative in the Alaska State Legislature: This act imposes a rural preference for uses of Alaskan fish and wildlife. "While the Act tries to mask its racial preference agenda by granting the preference to rural subsistence users rather than to Natives, the true intent of Congress is revealed in Section 3111 where Congress invokes its constitutional authority over 'Native affairs' to preserve the 'economic, traditional and cultural existence' of 'Native and non-Native rural subsistence users and attempts to 'fulfill the policies and purposes of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.'"
ANILCA defines subsistence as the 'customary and traditional uses' of fish and wildlife. "This is exactly the type of claims of aboriginal hunting or fishing rights based on previous use that were 'extinguished' by the Native Claims Settlement Act."
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