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Thread: Who is Robert Ruffner??

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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    Default Who is Robert Ruffner??

    Walker's newest appointee to the Fish Board. Who is he and what does he stand for?
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 03-24-2015 at 10:11. Reason: misspelled name

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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    Is he pro commercial fisherman or pro sport fisherman? (I know they don't have to be mutually exclusive, just that they usually are)

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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polardds View Post
    Is he pro commercial fisherman or pro sport fisherman? (I know they don't have to be mutually exclusive, just that they usually are)
    Hopefully he is neither. I want pro resource bof members
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

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    He has ran the Kenai watershed forum for many years. Very much so a biologist kind of guy. Riverbank erosion culverts and that kind of thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by polardds View Post
    Is he pro commercial fisherman or pro sport fisherman? (I know they don't have to be mutually exclusive, just that they usually are)
    He seems to be an anomaly in that regard, and thankfully so. He seems to be pro-science and pro-resource in my limited reading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by polardds View Post
    Is he pro commercial fisherman or pro sport fisherman? (I know they don't have to be mutually exclusive, just that they usually are)
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    He seems to be an anomaly in that regard, and thankfully so. He seems to be pro-science and pro-resource in my limited reading.
    Not to be argumentative, but I don't think most people fit that mutually exclusive mold. While the loudest voices in the fish fight might be, and surely try to convince others that everyone else is also, I think most informed people see the value in all of our fisheries.

    But to answer the question, it has been my experience that Ruffner is supportive of all our fisheries, so long as they are responsible and sustainable. I don't know him well, but have talked to him a bit, and he is very smart and down to earth. As someone else already said, he has a nose for B.S. Pro-science and pro-resource are accurate classifications, however anytime I hear this I question whether a person is also pro-access/use. I think Mr. Ruffner is, so long as that use is responsible and sustainable. His work at the watershed forum is a perfect testament- most of their projects have been positive, user-friendly, and effective.

    Good pick Mr. Walker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    ...most informed people see the value in all of our fisheries.
    Well said, sir. I probably spoke too hastily. I absolutely share this sentiment.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    I interviewed him for a video I'm working on for the site. He seems to be a really level-headed guy. Pro-resource, and he's done a great job with his work on the Kenai River. Great choice! Walker really picked a winner here.

    Mike
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    Worthy of a repost taken from the comments section of the article fishnphysician posted:

    It would be really nice if
    "It would be really nice if Kenai Watershed Forum truly had only environmental goals and missions. Unfortunately I have been living here for like a million years and seen way to much political and fisheries user manipulation from organizations like the KWF. In general I see the KWF as a group of people who imported from the lower 48 states and now want to create their vision of environmental heaven on the Kenai River.

    The KWF works to remove oil in the Kenai River, until you get to below the Warren Ames Bridge, (last couple miles of the river) then they consider oil in the river no longer a problem. This is specifically because the commercial fishing industry lives in the last couple miles of the Kenai River. This issue alone should tell a person where the KWF is coming from. The environment is important until the commercial fishing industry gets involved, then commercial fishing is more important.

    Also the KWF decided to prove that Kenai River waters are being silted up by only the public attempting to fish from its banks and its boats. This is another deliberate anti-sport fish attempt because those huge commercial boats in the lower Kenai make monster wakes thus also silting up the Kenai just like the smaller sport fish boats. But guess what, the KWF doesn't really care about those commercial fishing boats along with the lower Kenai River. When you deliberately avoid looking at all the facts it is no longer science

    Could anyone blame public fishing for bank erosion and trees falling into a river? Take a flight anywhere in Alaska and you will see tree sweepers just grazing the surface of any of our rivers and streams. These sweepers are the result of erosion and it happens everywhere naturally. The KWF true mission on this issue is to prove that the rate of erosion on the Kenai River is somehow not natural. The truth is so simple that the KWF cannot even understand it. The Kenai is basically a salmon river and with salmon, the more gravel you have, the more fish you will have. Maximum erosion, equals maximum spawning beds, equals maximum fisheries production. This is way to simple a concept for river bank owners and the KWF to understand, so they are completely blind to it. When you avoid looking at all the facts it is no longer science.

    History proves out that the KWF has an agenda and that agenda is pro-commercial fishing and anti-public fishing. Why else would the group go blind to the oil seeping from the lower rivers commercial fishing boats? Doe the KWF show up after midnight down on the lower Kenai River and sample for oil when commercial fishing is dumping and pumping its bilges? When you avoid looking at all the facts it is no longer science

    The KWF is looking for their heaven on earth Kenai River and that means no power boat sport anglers, no bank fishing anglers, no power boats for anything the public wants , no oil coming from only anglers, no two stroke engines, no large engine for only anglers and no fish waste from only anglers. The other side of this KWF heaven is allowing commercial fishing to go anywhere and do anything, unlimited oil dumping, unlimited fish waste dumping and unlimited engine horse power. Now does all that sound like just an environmental group? It's not science to selectively observe the facts, it is however what a Special Interest Group does. The truth is that the KWF acts so much like a (Political / Commercial Fisheries Group) that it qualifies for being defined as a special interest group.

    So the bottom line is that Mr. Ruffner helped create and run a special interest group that very much likes commercial fishing and very much dislikes public access to Alaska's rivers and fisheries."

    I'd saw this Ruffner looks like a wolf in sheep's clothing. Maybe the fella quoted is dead wrong, but it makes me nervous that Ruffner is a conservationist. Seems like the type that will attempt to restrict access and hamper motorized uses as well. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think Walker blew it again. A common theme in his admin thus far, imo.


    Tim

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    Much of the above criticism of the KWF focusses on their lack of concern for the environmental conditions at the mouth of the Kenai. It is worth noting that generally the intertidal area of river mouths is unimportant salmon habitat. KWF rightly focusses on restoring and maintaining habitat in spawning and rearing areas. Perhaps this is an overly "salmon-centric" view. The intertidal areas provide habitat for other species, both aquatic and terrestrial, and maybe we are ignoring that habitat at our peril. But, when it comes to salmon, KWF has solid biological basis for focusing on the areas of the river that they focus on.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    "...So the bottom line is that Mr. Ruffner helped create and run a special interest group that very much likes commercial fishing and very much dislikes public access to Alaska's rivers and fisheries."

    I'd saw this Ruffner looks like a wolf in sheep's clothing. Maybe the fella quoted is dead wrong, but it makes me nervous that Ruffner is a conservationist. Seems like the type that will attempt to restrict access and hamper motorized uses as well. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think Walker blew it again. A common theme in his admin thus far, imo.


    Tim
    Tim,

    Have you personally met Mr. Ruffner? Have you discussed these issues with him? I have, and I can assure you that the individual you referenced is just venting. The fact is that we have erosion and silting issues on the Kenai River and they are not easily fixed. To read this person's comments, you would think that the only thing he would settle for is the removal of all commercial users of the Kenai River. That's not going to happen, period. What I like about Ruffner, is his ability to see both sides of these issues intelligently, and to work with all groups toward long-term solutions. His group was very influential in getting two-stroke motors off the entire Kenai watershed, simply because we've been dumping a lot of gasoline into the river for years. I think that's a pretty big accomplishment. It required a lot of bridge-building among user groups and a lot of hard work. They deserve any accolades they get for that.

    As to the lower two miles of the Kenai, I am sure his organization would welcome any realistic, practical solutions to the issues there. They are well aware of the challenges, and would like to see it cleaned up.

    Bank erosion and the associated turbidity of the main river is a huge issue, and Ruffner's group is very aware that much of it is caused by powerboats. But short of completely eliminating powerboats on the Kenai River (something that is extremely unlikely in the near future), a long-term solution cannot be deployed immediately. We have to work together, perhaps to change the culture of the fishing community down there, in order to finish cleaning up that incredible river.

    It's easy to vilify someone else you have never met. It's much harder to actually work towards solutions that include all user groups. Mr. Ruffner really shocked me. I don't know what I was expecting, but he's calm, rational, and as non-partisan as they come. In our interview, he was very circumspect about accusing one group or another. He was all about recognizing and respecting all groups, and finding ways of working together to solve the issues. And for that, he has my highest respect.

    There will always be nay-sayers. I guess my question for them would be to ask them what they've done about these issues? What respect have they earned across all user groups? What have they done to get people working together? Talk is cheap. Ruffner is a man of intelligent, inclusive action.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Bank erosion and the associated turbidity of the main river is a huge issue, and Ruffner's group is very aware that much of it is caused by powerboats. But short of completely eliminating powerboats on the Kenai River (something that is extremely unlikely in the near future), a long-term solution cannot be deployed immediately.

    Incidentally, the Kenai River a poster child candidate for elimination of power boats. With multiple access points, generally swift water that results in short float times significant in-stream spawning/rearing habitat and habitat destruction that is directly tied to power boat wakes, the best thing we could do for the river is installation of additional boat launch infrastructure, perhaps fund a public transportation shuttle solution and eliminate all power boat users on the main stem.

    It will never happen, but the Kenai River is a river that doesn't require powerboats (unlike, say, the Susitna).

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    No Mike. I haven't met him.
    Just suspicious of his motives and the fact he's replacing a sport fishing guy's spot at the table.
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    Worthy of a repost taken from the comments section of the article fishnphysician posted:

    It would be really nice if
    "It would be really nice if Kenai Watershed Forum truly had only environmental goals and missions. Unfortunately I have been living here for like a million years and seen way to much political and fisheries user manipulation from organizations like the KWF. In general I see the KWF as a group of people who imported from the lower 48 states and now want to create their vision of environmental heaven on the Kenai River.

    The KWF works to remove oil in the Kenai River, until you get to below the Warren Ames Bridge, (last couple miles of the river) then they consider oil in the river no longer a problem. This is specifically because the commercial fishing industry lives in the last couple miles of the Kenai River. This issue alone should tell a person where the KWF is coming from. The environment is important until the commercial fishing industry gets involved, then commercial fishing is more important.

    Also the KWF decided to prove that Kenai River waters are being silted up by only the public attempting to fish from its banks and its boats. This is another deliberate anti-sport fish attempt because those huge commercial boats in the lower Kenai make monster wakes thus also silting up the Kenai just like the smaller sport fish boats. But guess what, the KWF doesn't really care about those commercial fishing boats along with the lower Kenai River. When you deliberately avoid looking at all the facts it is no longer science

    Could anyone blame public fishing for bank erosion and trees falling into a river? Take a flight anywhere in Alaska and you will see tree sweepers just grazing the surface of any of our rivers and streams. These sweepers are the result of erosion and it happens everywhere naturally. The KWF true mission on this issue is to prove that the rate of erosion on the Kenai River is somehow not natural. The truth is so simple that the KWF cannot even understand it. The Kenai is basically a salmon river and with salmon, the more gravel you have, the more fish you will have. Maximum erosion, equals maximum spawning beds, equals maximum fisheries production. This is way to simple a concept for river bank owners and the KWF to understand, so they are completely blind to it. When you avoid looking at all the facts it is no longer science.

    History proves out that the KWF has an agenda and that agenda is pro-commercial fishing and anti-public fishing. Why else would the group go blind to the oil seeping from the lower rivers commercial fishing boats? Doe the KWF show up after midnight down on the lower Kenai River and sample for oil when commercial fishing is dumping and pumping its bilges? When you avoid looking at all the facts it is no longer science

    The KWF is looking for their heaven on earth Kenai River and that means no power boat sport anglers, no bank fishing anglers, no power boats for anything the public wants , no oil coming from only anglers, no two stroke engines, no large engine for only anglers and no fish waste from only anglers. The other side of this KWF heaven is allowing commercial fishing to go anywhere and do anything, unlimited oil dumping, unlimited fish waste dumping and unlimited engine horse power. Now does all that sound like just an environmental group? It's not science to selectively observe the facts, it is however what a Special Interest Group does. The truth is that the KWF acts so much like a (Political / Commercial Fisheries Group) that it qualifies for being defined as a special interest group.

    So the bottom line is that Mr. Ruffner helped create and run a special interest group that very much likes commercial fishing and very much dislikes public access to Alaska's rivers and fisheries."

    I'd saw this Ruffner looks like a wolf in sheep's clothing. Maybe the fella quoted is dead wrong, but it makes me nervous that Ruffner is a conservationist. Seems like the type that will attempt to restrict access and hamper motorized uses as well. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think Walker blew it again. A common theme in his admin thus far, imo.


    Tim
    Ahhh yes, the infamous Kenai123's comments. You would do well to research this person and their posts a little more before taking too much stock in their extremely radical views.

    The fella quoted is dead wrong.

  17. #17
    Member cod's Avatar
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    I have worked with Ruffner on two seperate issues down in my neck of the woods. Of the several others in his group, Robert was our 'go to' guy. Smart, concerned, fair, are a few words that come to mind. I have high hopes for him in this new position. Good luck Mr Ruffner! Don't let us and our Kings down.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    No Mike. I haven't met him.
    Just suspicious of his motives and the fact he's replacing a sport fishing guy's spot at the table.
    Tim
    He IS a sportfishing guy. Just not KRSA's guy.

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    Isn't Mr. Ruffner being considered for a position on the Alaska BoF!? It is not the Kenai River BoF. It's not the Sportfishing/Commercial BoF. It's not the Urban/Rural BoF. It's the Alaska BoF. It's a State-wide position with State-wide responsibilities.

    It's a position that helps manage a billion dollar economic/social/cultural engine that almost defines the State of Alaska. Indeed, Wild Alaskan Salmon is the face of the State throughout the L-48 and much of the world (that and sled dogs). Seems to me that Mr. Ruffner's experience on the KP will be very useful when debating the various conflicting uses of the State's fishery resources on the BoF. I don't know him at all, but any candidate should be judged on how well they are able to address the issues they will confront in the position they are being nominated for. His views on specific, local issues are not overly relevant, regardless of how important those issues are to local citizens.

    Best of luck to Mr. Ruffner.

  20. #20

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    The river below the Warren Ames Bridge is federal navigable water and under the jurisdiction of the Army Corp of Engineers, EPA and the USCG. BOF has jurisdiction over resource management in this section, but not over documented vessels regarding federal law.

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