Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Issuance of an Incidental Take Statement Under the Endangered Species Act for Salmon Fisheries in Southeast Alaska Subject to the 2019 Pacific Salmon Treaty Agreement and Funding to
A Notice of Intent to prepare this draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) was published in the Federal Register on October 4, 2023. This DEIS is prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to assess the environmental impacts associated with NMFS issuing an incidental take statement (ITS) under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that would exempt take of threatened or endangered ESA-listed species by participants in Southeast Alaska (SEAK) salmon fisheries that are subject to the 2019 Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) Agreement. This DEIS also assesses the environmental impacts of NMFS funding grants to the State of Alaska (State) to monitor and manage the SEAK salmon fisheries and salmon stocks subject to the 2019 PST Agreement. If warranted, NMFS would issue an ITS, consistent with requirements of the ESA, as part of a consultation on two agency actions related to the 2019 PST Agreement, including the funding to the State. That consultation would conclude with the issuance of a biological opinion (BiOp) that evaluates the effects of those agency actions on ESA-listed species and critical habitat. This DEIS directly responds to a court order and analyzes the effects of the proposed issuance of an ITS for those two agency actions.