2005 Bristol Bay Area Plan - Adoption of 2013 Plan Amendment
FINAL BRISTOL BAY AREA PLAN AMENDMENT 2013 (9/05/2013)
DRAFT DETERMINATION RECLASSIFICATION & PLAN AMEND
The Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has adopted the 2013 Plan Amendment to the 2005 Bristol Bay Area Plan (BBAP), which consists of the January 2013 Public Review Draft Determination of Reclassification and Plan Amendment, as modified by the List of Approved Revisions. A Land Classification Order (SC-04-002A02), which accompanied the Plan Amendment, was also adopted. The Land Classification Order (LCO) affects over 6.4 million acres of state uplands distributed throughout the 12.7 million acre planning area of the Bristol Bay Area Plan. A Determination of Reclassification, which determined if changes in land classification were appropriate, preceded and provided much of the basis of the Plan Amendment and was also adopted as a final decision. This action by the Commissioner has resulted in significantly more land in the planning region being classified Wildlife Habitat and Public Recreation.
DNR undertook to revise the 2005 BBAP in response to an agreement with the plaintiffs in Nondalton Tribal Council et al. v. State of Alaska, which dismissed the litigation in exchange for DNR's agreement to address the issues raised in the lawsuit through the existing administrative process for amending area land use plans and reclassifying state land. The stipulation for remand, which identifies the scope of the plan amendment process, is available on this website.
The revised plan can be viewed under the Area Plan Index portion of this webpage. This revision includes all of the changes approved by the Commissioner, and are the ones included in the List of Approved Revisions, above. Note that the set of five plan maps in the 2005 BBAP have not been revised. Instead, to view the changes made as a result of the Plan Amendment process, see Map 3-A. This map reflects all of the changes included in the List of Approved Revisions.
Because action on the revision and approval of the BBAP is relatively new, information pertinent to this review are provided above. Included are:
1. An Issue Response Summary, which consists of two parts: a response to general public comments (Table 1) and a response to issues raised in the Citizens' Alternative (Table 2). The Citizens' Alternative Bristol Bay Area Plan for State Lands (CA), developed by certain stakeholders in the Bristol Bay region, was submitted as a comment to DNR on the proposed 2013 Plan Amendment. It did not respond directly to the issues identified in the Stipulation for Remand and Dismissal, but followed the format of a state area plan, and was intended to influence the 2013 Plan Amendment. It focused on five regions within the BBAP planning area — particularly the Nushagak, Mulchatna, and Kvichak River drainages — but did not include the remainder of the planning area. Table 1 of the Issue Response Summary contains all of the general public comments. Table 2 contains responses to the Citizens' Alternative. DNR considered the proposed CA land use designations as proposed changes to the designations and management intent statements in Chapter 3 of the BBAP, and to the recommended management guidelines in Chapter 2 of the BBAP. The changes proposed for Chapter 3 are within the scope of the Stipulation for Remand and 2013 Plan Amendment and were evaluated. Most of the changes proposed for Chapter 2, while reviewed, are not responded to in the Issue Response Summary. The changes to Chapter 2 recommended in the CA dealt with topics that were not covered by the Stipulation for Remand and were not addressed in the public notice regarding the Public Review Draft Determination of Reclassification and Plan Amendment.
2. Table 3 identifies the changes to the 2005 BBAP made by the 2013 Plan Amendment as modified by the List of Approved Revisions, and is organized by individual management units. Table 3 is intended to provide an easy-to-use reference for identifying the changes made with respect to individual units as depicted in Map 3A.
3. Charts that compare the changes in land classifications in terms of acreage between the 2005 BBAP, the Public Review Draft Plan Amendment, and the Final Amendment. These charts provide a pictorial representation of the changes represented in the final plan amendment map, 3A.
4. List of Approved Revisions to the PRD Determination of Reclassification and 2013 Plan Amendment. This document lists all of the changes that modify the PRD Determination and Amendment to the 2005 BBAP that were recently approved by the Commissioner.
5. A revised 2013 Plan Amendment Map, 3A. This final map includes the changes in land use classification recommended in the Public Review Draft Plan Amendment plus the changes in the List of Approved Revisions.
6. Adoption of 2013 Plan Amendment Signature Page.
7. Final Determination of Reclassification and Plan Amendment Decision.
8. Land Classification Order No. SC-04-002A02.
The land use classification changes in the List of Approved Revisions are best described through the acreage summaries of classification changes in Table 3 and are depicted in the revised 2013 Plan Amendment Map 3A. The changes to the BBAP affect over 3.1 million acres of land, or about one-quarter of the state uplands in the Bristol Bay area. Major increases in both the Wildlife Habitat and Public Recreation classifications were recommended: the former increased by 2.61 million acres and the latter, by 1.1 million acres. These changes were derived from public comments and a re-evaluation of ADF&G habitat and subsistence information. The increases in these land use classifications were at the expense of lands designated General Use in the 2005 BBAP, which decreased from 9.4 million acres to a total of 7.3 million acres in the amended plan. Decreases also occurred in the Settlement and Minerals designations. The amount of land classified Minerals (or Minerals and Habitat) dropped from 328,000 to 202,000 acres. The shape and size of certain mineral parcels changed as a result of the review of recent geophysical evaluations by DNR; also some units are now co-designated Habitat and Minerals. Two areas designated as Settlement in the 2005 BBAP were determined to be undesirable for settlement and have been deleted; this resulted in a loss of 109,000 acres from this classification. For more detail, consult Tables 1 and 2. Consult Table 3 for specific designation changes affecting management units.
For additional information regarding the Bristol Bay Area Plan Amendment please contact: