Interior Department Completes Transfers of the Office of Subsistence Management to the Office of the Secretary

WASHINGTON (June 27, 2024) — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today issued Secretary’s Order 3413, which transfers the Office of Subsistence Management (OSM) from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the Office of the Assistant Secretary-Policy, Management and Budget, effective July 15, 2024. This Order follows feedback through nation-to-nation consultation and the enactment of the Department of the Interior’s 2024 appropriations in which Congress directed a transfer of the Department’s Office of Subsistence Management from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the Office of the Secretary.

This move is one of many that the Department is making to strengthen federal subsistence policies and structure and ensure that federally qualified subsistence users and Alaska Native peoples have an opportunity for meaningful engagement in its implementation. In February, the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture announced a proposal to strengthen Alaska Tribal representation on the Federal Subsistence Board (FSB), which manages subsistence use on federal lands and waters in Alaska. The FSB oversees the Federal Subsistence Management Program, a multi-agency effort that administers the subsistence priority and manages regulations for the use of fish and wildlife resources for subsistence purposes on federal public lands and waters in Alaska.

The Office of Subsistence Management provides administrative support to the FSB and the Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils. OSM’s responsibilities and functions will remain the same following the move to the Office of the Secretary.

For thousands of years, subsistence practices have been immensely important for Alaska Native communities, and remain deeply intertwined with their lifeways, food security, and cultures. Subsistence has also become important to many non-Alaska Native communities,particularly in rural Alaska. The state’s residents harvest about 18,000 tons of wild foods each year – an average of 295 pounds per person. Fish makes up about 56 percent of this harvest statewide. Nowhere else in the United States is there such a heavy reliance upon wild foods.

More information is available on the Federal Subsistence Board webpage.