Legislative Task Force to be appointed
To the dismay of some, the delight of others, SCR 21 and HCR 29 passed, to form a legislative task force to review the management of salmon in Cook Inlet. They still have to be signed by Governor Palin; its a great thing for the region that they passed, though. It will allow the BOF to explain how it works to the legislature and to the public, and if its working great, will be allowed to continue the way it has, but if it needs some tweaking, that can be done, too. If your interest is that the management process be fair and equitable, done according to its regulations, and that its regulations be written to best conserve the fisheries, then this is a great piece of legislation. Hopefully this will provide a sounding board to lobby for change in the process; even those of us diametrically opposed to each other on many issues should have common ground here. (admin, I mentioned no names- do I get a gold star?)
new set of eyes
It is my belief that the task force will have the resources to do this job. Bringing in independent voices, with no financial ties to this resource, would be a start. We all saw the hired guns at the Last BOF. All sides had them.
I'm curious what y'all think? Please read the HCR/SCR 29/21 and post your thoughts. thanks and have a good day
This is a done deal the Gov doesn't get to sign this!
All that is left to do is is select the task force members and set up an agenda and other requirements.
really - independent - of what?
O.K the whop2000 you state that task force will be independent - not true. The bill writers will serve on the committee and the bill is full of lies and misrepresentations. Therefore, there is no way this group is independent of the users who put pressure on them to do this. This is a political process and therefore by definition not independent.
Originally Posted by thewhop2000
Second, who says they have no financial ties to the resource - I have heard no disclosures or who is on the task force.
Third, the resolution says there is no research plan - that is incorrect. There is a plan written by the BOF and modified by ADF&G - if the legislature did not fund the research they will look silly attacking ADF&G and the BOF.
What makes you think the legislature hearings will be any different than the BOF hearings - the hired guns will be there in force -
Finally, if you read the bill then there is no way it can be objective. The conclusions are already in the bill. It states ADF&G failed to meet escapement goals - wrong - it does not say anything about species or frequency - with the new counting corrections the sockeye goals have been met as the BOF noted. The other species are meeting goals.
It says the BOF failed to reduce the commercial harvest of sockeye because it was a stock of yield concern. They have voted this is true yet in point of fact a yield concern does not require a reduction in harvest - again a biased statement that the task force will have to defend.
There are other mistatements but you get the point. This is political and nothing more. There is no mandate to do anything as the BOF bill to change the board make-up failed and the movement of the Soldotna office failed. This was a political face saving measure for Green and the bunch. They can make noise but if you think anything useful will come out of this relative to UCI management you are dead wrong.
One thing it has done is point out how urban areas continue to stifle rural areas in resource matters. The passing of the bill will wake UFA and subsistence groups up to the fact that the legislature dominated by urban representatives can disrupt their lives in passing a bill. It will back-fire if any substantial bill comes forward as shown with the failure to change the Board of Fish or move offices.
Let the battle began as this process will do nothing more than cause deeper wounds - however, one thing has changed in this bill. ADF&G is under attack in it and that should make for some interesting responses. They will have to take on the valley folks and the misrepresentations in a public forum instead of just telling BOF members in private the lies and misrepresentations that the valley representatives have spoken. Should be an interesting fight - Also, it will bring in the Kenai Peninsula Assembly and town councils to the fight. I doubt that John Williams and Dave Carey will allow this to go unchallenged in an election year.
Nerka, you're right. The lies will be exposed.
I just want to vent here a little. I just saw/heard some amazing things happen at the tail end of this legislative session. I am flat-out amazed at how our legislature as a whole functions and how things are done at the last minute to push certain bills and agendas.
This legislative task force is a complete corruption of the formal process in place already by which the BOF, a body confirmed by the legislature, decides allocative issues pertaining to salmon stocks. What this "task farce" (my term) does is essentially say to the BOF that they didn't correctly do their job, that after hearing hours of testimony and reading reams of reports and research...that they "got it wrong." Certain legislators, in their seemingly infinite grasp for power and political theater, are saying that they have the authority to second guess the BOF and corrupt the entire process. Don't like BOF decisions? Well hey, we're "there" for you Valley residents, and we "hear" you, and we'll see what we can do during this election year to prove we represent the interests of the Valley. Even if it means trashing ADFG and the very body we confirmed to make these decisions.
I don't always agree with BOF (or BOG) decisions. But seeing how much time goes into being a Board member, and how complicated fisheries issues are, I don't want a legislative panel setting precedent by overriding BOF on UCI allocative decisions. What the hell do we even have the BOF for if the legislature can override them whenever they aren't happy with a decision?
A great piece of legislation WF4F? I couldn't disagree more.
I totally agree Nerka and bushrat. This is the direction that failed fisheries take. Make sure you let the Governor know how you feel.
when to have the hearings.
Given the end of the legislative session does anyone want to bet when the hearings will be held? My guess is that the valley and AOC and KRSA will want the hearings held before the season so that ADF&G is pressured to do something different than what the BOF mandated. If they hold it during the summer ADF&G and most of the user groups cannot attend or prepare to attend because of fishing. If they hold it after the season which is the best time to hold this hearing - it will allow ADF&G to implement the BOF plans, update the data sets, and prepare responses. However, given this is a full BOF meeting review on UCI ADF&G will not have the data until January when the legislature is back in session.
My guess is that they will try to rush this prior to the season so that ADF&G feels pressure from the valley representatives. The valley representatives have already threatened action against ADF&G so again how is this going to be fair and objective.
Bushrat - you are correct to be angry- this is contrary to what fish and game resource management should be in Alaska. Since statehood the legislature has resisted this type of grandstanding. However, if you have a Senate president who does not care about anything but power and her position this type of action is expected. No wonder Palin does not like her, Palin has some ethical standards.
Starting off on the wrong foot...
Y’know, this Legislative task force project would, most likely, have met some resistance regardless of the circumstances or premise upon which it’s founded. Many years ago, the Legislature delegated management authority to the Board(s) for the purpose of removing politics from the process (to the best extent practicable).
Welcome back, politics.
But, this process is biased from the get-go based on its founding document, SCR21. I know that there were attempts to kill the whole thing with procedural matters like Legislative committee hearings, public testimony, or amendments to make the document more factual and balanced. But, sarcasm aside, the resolution is so badly biased that it’s tough for many folks to view this soon-to-be process with anything but skepticism.
I could dissect most of the resolution, but I won’t bother. However…here’s an example:
4th Whereas: ”WHEREAS the economic contribution to the state of the in-river sport and personal use fisheries in Cook Inlet far exceed the ex-vessel value of the Cook Inlet commercial fishing harvests…”
Most of the comparisons that I’ve seen have been prepared by sport fish interests and go way in-depth to include sport the benefits…including airfare, lodging, car rental, food, guide costs and more – and compare that to simply the ex-vessel value of commercially-caught salmon. That’s not even apples-to-oranges…it’s apples-to-grapes. Intangibly, I know firsthand how valuable sport and personal use fisheries are, but I haven’t seen anything asserting that they “far exceed” the value of the commercial fisheries. They probably do, but maybe the Legislature should provide for such a study to show this before stating it as fact.
WillPhish, I agree with you that the Board and/or the Department should be ready and willing to defend any and all actions that they take. But when the process seems so loaded from the start, I’d be a bit reluctant (if I was still on the Board) to participate. If they already know the answers, then why bother? Perhaps the process would get off to a better start if the resolution was a little more objective.
On a final note...I want, as much as everyone else, for the sockeye stocks in the Su/Yentna to rebuild. How to get there is another matter....one that isn't as clear as the Legislature assumes.
I'll wager that it winds up having a guy or gal in a black robe making the final decisions. That is exactly where all this is headed. The commercial fishermen will be left out of the process and the sports fishermen will prevail. The basis for arguement will be absence of fish for sport fishing enthusiasts. I don't think the legislature ever intended nor wanted to enter the sports vs commercial debacle. That is the reason for the path they chose. If the commercial interests are never invited to the fight, they can never have skin in the game. Wise move on the legislature's part. I think we will see some pretty red faces on the witness stands.
Bushrat, Mrfish, Nerka, you're right about the wording of the resolution. Its going to make it hard to work objectively with BOF and the Department, which is what I hope can still happen. I'm still glad the resolutions passed, though. Hopefully the process will become better as the result of this. It may be off to a bad start, but that doesn't doom it.