Alaska State Biological Resource Considerations (12-AK-a)
State Biological Resource Considerations Process
12-AK-a.1 - Will the Project Affect Streams or Other Bodies of Water?
The Anadromous Fish Act (AS 16.05.871-.901) requires that an individual or government agency provide prior notification and obtain permit approval from Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) before altering or affecting “the natural flow or bed” of a specified waterbody, or fish stream. All activities within or across a specified anadromous waterbody require approval from Habitat, including construction; road crossings; gravel removal; mining; water withdrawals; the use of vehicles or equipment in the waterway; stream realignment or diversion; bank stabilization; blasting; and the placement, excavation, deposition, or removal of any material.
The location of specified anadromous waterbodies is contained in the Catalog of Waters Important for the Spawning, Rearing or Migration of Anadromous Fishes. The Anadromous Waters Catalog is updated annually, and adopted into regulation Alaska Admin. Code tit. 5 § 95.011 after public review; it is the legal record of known anadromous fish streams in the state.
The Fish Passage Act (AS 16.05.841), requires that an individual or government agency notify and obtain authorization from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Habitat for activities within or across a stream used by fish if it is determined that such uses or activities could represent an impediment to the efficient passage of resident or anadromous fish.
12-AK-a.2 - Fish Habitat Permit Application
To apply for a Fish Habitat Permit, the applicant must include information about the type of project and the purpose of the project. The applicant may include information about any alternatives considered.
The applicant must also provide plans showing site access, features and dimensions, crossing sites, and any material removal plans.
The applicant must also include any information about stream diversion, vehicles to be used, and precautions taken to protect fish or other wildlife.
12-AK-a.3 - Review Application
ADF&G reviews the application.
12-AK-a.4 - Fish Habitat Permit
12-AK-a.5 - Will the Project be Located in a Refuge, Sanctuary, or Critical Habitat?
"Special Areas" refer to ADF&G’s State Game Refuges, State Game Sanctuaries, and Critical Habitat Areas . These areas are designated by the Legislature when it passes a statute describing the legal boundaries of the area, the purpose of the area, and any other specific management considerations for that particular area. Each of the different types of special area has a different general purpose although all provide habitat protection.
The Habitat Division implements a statewide special areas permitting program to manage land and water use activities within a special area. By regulation, permits are required for construction, placement, or continuing use of any improvement, structure, or real property within a special area; destruction of vegetation; detonation of an explosive other than a firearm; excavation, surface or shoreline altering activity, dredging, filling, draining, or flooding; natural resource or energy exploration, development, production, or associated activities; water diversion or withdrawal; off-road use of wheeled or tracked equipment unless the commissioner has issued a general permit under Alaska Admin. Code tit. 5 § 95.770; waste disposal, placement, or use of a toxic substance; grazing or animal husbandry; and any other activity that is likely to have a significant effect on vegetation, drainage, water quality, soil stability, fish, wildlife, or their habitat, or which disturbs fish or wildlife other than lawful hunting, trapping, fishing, viewing, and photography. Contact the Habitat Division with questions about legal activities in Special Areas.
The Division of Wildlife Conservation manages visitor facilities, sanctuary access, and other management operations.
Each of the Special Areas has individual statutes; many of the areas also have management plans that have been adopted into regulation to guide permitting.
The ADF&G has the statutory responsibility for managing activities that occur in legislatively designated special areas. Land and water use activities in a Special Area require a Special Area Permit from ADF&G (Alaska Stat. § 16.20). Each Special Area has certain allowable uses defined in statute and regulations.
12-AK-a.6 - Special Area Permit Application
To apply for a Special Area Permit, the applicant must include plans and specifications and any other information necessary to fully describe the scope of the proposed project.
The applicant must include, the purpose of the project, the timeframe, construction methods, any water use, fill and excavation quantities, map showing access, and a detailed maps/plans showing project features and topography. Special Area Permit Application
12-AK-a.7 - Review Application
ADF&G reviews the application.
12-AK-a.8 - Special Area Permit
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