Special Area Management Planning
The Planning Process

Special Area Management Plans

Tugidak Island State Critical Habitat Area sign with seagull

A Special Area Management Plan has three main parts: the Goals, Policies, and Resource Inventory. The Goals and Policies of a plan guide the management decisions for a Special Area; this part of a plan is adopted by reference into regulation. The Resource Inventory and other appendices provide useful information about biological and natural resources and human use of the area.

Planning Process

Over the past 30 years, ADF&G developed a planning process that provides opportunities for public input and for collaboration with other agencies to develop management goals and policies for an area. There are six basic steps to ADF&G’s Special Area Management Planning Process, although other steps may be added based on the specific planning concerns or requirements for an individual area.

ADF&G will:

  1. Establish a planning team composed of representatives of state, federal and local government agencies that have management responsibilities pertinent to the area, and other stakeholders as needed.
  2. Hold public scoping meetings in potentially affected communities to identify issues that should be addressed in the plan. Simultaneously accept written scoping comments.
  3. Develop a draft management plan by working with the planning team.
  4. Open a public comment period of 45-60 days to review the draft management plan.
  5. Prepare a final management plan with the consensus of the planning team.
  6. After approval by the Commissioner, adopt the goals and policies of the plan by reference into regulation. As necessary, adopt certain plan policies as stand-alone regulations. Regulation adoption will follow the Administrative Procedures Act (AS 44.62) process.

Current Planning

ADF&G is currently working towards completing plans for areas without management plans and updating outdated plans. The department currently has two plans in different stages of development: Kachemak Bay & Fox River Flats CHAs and Willow Mountain CHA.

Announcements for public scoping, and public review drafts will be made available on this webpage, as well as on the State of Alaska’s Online Public Notice System.