BOF appointment concerns
The Governor, a commercial fisher in Bristol Bay, has appointed a commercial fisherman, Brent Johnson a Cook Inlet Setnetter, to replace Bonnie Williams of Fairbanks on the Board of Fish. Ms. Williams was a personal use/subsistance user and representative and watched out for the interests of the interior.
The appointment of Mr. Johnson creates a board whose composition is
heavily weighted in favor of commercial interests. He is a past president of Kenai Perninsula Fishermen's Association, a set netters' trade association that has consistantely claimed a priority to the fish in Cook Inlet and has been involved in lawsuitsto do away with dipnetting/personal use fishing in the state. At this time there are two lawsuits, filed by commercial fishermen, to eliminate personal use fisheries - do we want a person on the BOF who appears to support this?
His appointment leaves the board without representation of users in the Yukon/Kuskokwim delta and throughout the interior. With the problem of low returns of salmon to the Yukon it is vitally important that someone from the region is on the board to ensure deliberations that effect this area consider all of the potential impacts of the proposals before them.
This appointment will leave the board with no representation of Alaska natives, residents of the Interior and personal use/subsistance fishermen. I strongly oppose his appointment and would encourage any of you who have the same concerns write your senator and representative and let them know.
We need a balanced Board of Fish - commercial, sport, subsistance and personal use all deserve representation. Encourage your legislators to oppose Brent Johnson's appointment and request that the Governor make an appointment that better represents the interests of all of the residents of Alaska.
Karl Johnstone, who has been re-appointed to the BOF, and Craig Johnson, representing South Anchorage, are good guys in my opinion and should not be confused with Cook Inlet set netter Brent Johnson.
I will understand if the moderators need to move this to Global/politics discussion but I was concerned that the persons most interested would not see it there.
This is a misrpresentation of Brent
Gusdog 44 you are wrong on a number of accounts.
What your real concern is that Brent is a commercial fisherman from Cook Inlet and that threatens your allocation of fish - you should not worry about that. Brent will be conflicted out of Cook Inlet commercial decisions because he is a set netter.
I have disagreed with Brent on a number of issues but to read your post and the ad in the paper todya is disturbing for it is full of misrepresentations. First, Brent is not part of either law suit. One is brought by a PWS fisherman and the second by UCIDA - a UCI dirift gill net organization. He is not part of that suit.
Second, Brent is not opposed to personal use fishing as you state. He is opposed to unlimited personal use fishing and the habitat damage it causes without planning.
Third, Brent was an AC chair and he ran the meetings in a fair and open manner. He was open to all viewpoints and more importantly will look at data. He values science in decision making.
Fourth, the idea that every portion of the state needs representation is just silly - there are not enough seats on the Board. I noticed that when the BOF had two sportfisherman from UCI on the BOF and the Kodiak seat was eliminated you and other organizations did not complain. It is unethical to use the native arguement when in point of fact this is about power of KRSA and AOC to control the BOF. They have tried to do this with the game board and this appointment keeps that from happening on the fish board.
Fifth, Brent knows the BOF process and has objected to backroom deals and hotel room meetings. He will work well to change this approach. Also, Brent is very knowledgeable about fishery issues and will be a good representative to make regulations in other areas of the state. Remember this is a statewide position and Brent is willing to serve.
Relative to the Johonstone appointment one might want to look into his record as a judge. He was brought before the Supreme Court for action against him. However, even with this I would say he is qualified to serve, just as Brent is qualified to serve.
I would tell people to not take the bait you put out there and to support Brent - for unless we have a Board of Fish that has UCI commercial fisherman represented it will continue to be a culture of conflict in UCI which is what some want.
So gusdog your post is self serving and is representative of what is wrong with KRSA, AOC, and KRPGA - they see only conflict and want only conflict until they win. Not what I want for our community. Brent could be a healing force if given a chance.
I'm all in favor of keeping the BOF "fair and balanced".
That's a relative term but as it sits there are 3 with sport fish backgrounds, 3 with commercial fish backgrounds and 1 with a a background in personal use/subsistence/interior interests. I understand Nerka that Mr. Johnson may be objective but perceptions are everything. You know that every decision he would be involved with would be scrutinized by the sport fish community as being biased towards commercial interest. 3/3/1 is a good mix on the board. Actually 2/2/2 would be a better mix but that's not going to happen.
Besides voicing my concerns on this forum I will be contacting my representatives to tell them to keep the BOF composition as is.
The idea that the BOF should be made up of commercial, sport, or personal use fisherman is the wrong approach. This Board runs a billion dollar industry that deals with state and federal regulations, habitat protection, invasive species, biological escapement goals, and a host of other complex and technical issues including economics The Board should not be made up of user groups but of experts in fields that can run a corporation called Alaska Fisheries. In that context we should discuss who has these attributes and how to get people to serve to meet the public well being.
In the ADN today we let Bob Penney set the agenda with making this a user group fight. That is not the best approach for Alaska.
Maybe one day we can have a Board of Fish made up of really smart people who care more about those who do not fish than those who do, that makes decisions based on what future generations will reap rather than the present, that understand the legal discussions about state and federal responsibilities, and the list goes on. Probably will not happen - we will have KRSA, AOC, KRPGA, Bob Penney, Bruce Knowles, and Phil Cutler set the stage for this play. What a sad state of affairs.
Nerka, are you volunteering to serve?
Did you forget KAFC in this equation or am I missing something?
Originally Posted by Nerka
If look carefully at what Nerka suggested.... I think he was suggesting is that members of KAFC could fit his definition of this; "really smart people who care more about those who do not fish than those who do, that makes decisions based on what future generations will reap rather than the present, that understand the legal discussions about state and federal responsibilities, and the list goes on."
Originally Posted by tcman
That is why I think that he purposfully left KAFC out of the afformentioned organizations involved in the dispute over newly appointed board member.
I did not included KAFC since they have never opposed a Board of Fish member nor have they said an industry should be eliminated from UCI. All groups participate in the allocation debate but the groups I listed have shown little compassion for the commercial industry or individuals within that profession. However, if others want to include them in the mix go ahead. My point was about all user groups and organizations that fight over Board of Fish appointments instead of changing the Board of Fish makeup and selection process.
Originally Posted by TYNMON
I also thought I would leave KAFC out to see who would take the bait. Rather than discuss my point they jumped on the KAFC issue. Pretty funny.
Relative to The Whop comment - he said he is volka fueled so I will leave it at that. Maybe the moderators should remove his post because of his admission - it is a sad post.
What's pretty funny is how you took my bait.
Originally Posted by Nerka
It's hypocritical to think KAFC is "above it all". KAFC has been an organization for, what, a couple of years so I guess it would be pretty easy to say that they "have not opposed a Board of Fish member". Correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't this be the first appointment made during the existence of KAFC?
Let's look at this appointment another way. What if the appointment was done by a governor who had a lodge/guide service and the appointment is a former head of a sport fishing organization. That person was educated, knew the issues, and was considered objective to the bigger picture in fisheries management. An "expert" as you stated in your first post. Would KAFC scrutinize and object to this appointment? You betcha! Do I think that would be bad? Absolutely not. All groups concerned should have a say in the matter.
KRSA, KRPGA, KAFC, among others, are all special interest groups/organizations with agendas and the makeup of the BOF is important to all of them.
A Cook Inlet Commercial fisherman would, according to Nerka, be conflicted out on Cook Inlet issues that affected him......which would be almost all salmon proposals. How then would his expertise be of benefit to anyone?? Making backroom deals like Nerka accuses others of doing??
The last time I was able to get a list of KAFC members there were 12 of them......except for Dwight Cramer they were current or retired employees of the Alaska dept of Fish and Game, one bear biologist and the rest biologists or technicians from the commercial fish division. They most likely have the knowledge to comment on UCI issues but I think there may be a predisposition to positions in favor of commercial interests. I could be wrong but the perception is there.
Lets keep a balance on the board/.
more misinformation gusdog
Tcman and gusdog - you really should do some homework before making comments -
Originally Posted by gusdog44
Since KAFC was formed the following Board members have been appointed or reappointed (jwhich needs confirmation) - Bill Brown, John Jensen, Mel Morris, Howard Delo, Karl Johnstone and I think we just formed when Bonnie Williams was named to the Board of Fisheries. So I am correcting you Tcman because you are wrong.
KAFC has had major issues with these Board members but we did not oppose them. Tcman, if the individual you suggested is ethical we would not oppose the nomination in my opinion. We have fought for Board of Fish members not to attend the classic for ethical reason - we won that one with the AG office, we oppose Ted Stevens at the Classic because he stated he was selling his position to the highest bidder - so we stand for ethical standards and good process.
Relative to membership gusdog we have almost 200 members. So your 12 figure is way off base. Our Board of Directors is limited but the membership is growing.
Want to start a new attack with some better information - so far you are batting zero.
Thanks for the information Nerka - as I stated in my post "the last time I got a list" of KAFC members was over a year ago. It is entirely possible that your organization has grown to 200 or more.
Speaking about accusations and attacks - where the heck did you get the statement from Ted Stevens that he would sell his position to the highest bidder? That strongly resembles liable unless you have proof somewhere.........
I did not start this thread intending for it to descend into bashing of the various organizations involved in Cook Inlet fisheries but that seems to be the way Nerka wants it.
Lets get back to discussing who we should be supporting for BOF - not how many KAFC members there are.
Thanks Nerka for the correction. I wasn't sure about how many BOF members were appointed/reappointed since KAFC's inception. .
Interior Alaska should have a voice
Interior Alaska should have a member on the Board of Fish. The traditional three commercial seats, three sportfish seats, and one PU-Subsistance seat should remain in place. If Bonnie Williams seat is going to be replaced than it should be with someone in the region around Fairbanks. After all Fairbanks has the second highest population base in all of Alaska and this region has traditionally held a seat on the Board of Fish. Why change it now?
I think that we can all agree that Alaska is a big state. In the interest of fairness to all of Alaska can anyone really say that Cook Inlet should have two Commercial Fishing members on a seven member panel?
For those that do not know Mel Morris is a member of the Board of Fish and as part of his business he buys Cook Inlet commerically caught salmon. (For the record I support Mel being on the Board of Fish and I am glad that he decided to stay on for another term.)
Anyone that is interested in what Brent Johnson has had to say in the past about the Board of Fish, sportfishing groups, PU Fishery, and many other topics can reread some of the many letters to the editor that Brent has submitted over the years to the Anchorage Daily News and the Clarion Newspaper (Kenai Area paper). It will be a interesting read to say the least.
To all that read my last post, I apoligise.... But
A little history here. Since Governor Hickel was in, it has been tradition to have 3 commercial seats, three sport/personal use seats and an interior Fairbanks/Yukon seat for subsistence, for the BOF.
All of a sudden, Sarah has decided to slight the interior and appoint a peninsula setnetter to the interior position.
There are many theories on why she chose who she chose. That really does not matter. What matters is there were plenty of qualified people from the interior, Many Alaska natives, that names were in the hat. She had a chance to put well qualified subsistence orientated people in the slot. She went somewhere else. Thank God for checks and balances. The legislature has to confirm and I think we have that covered.
I am a dipnetter.
I am a single issue person, meaning I think the consumptive user should come first. I would not want me on the BOF. That said, I don't want Brett Johnson on the BOF either. Retired Judge Johnstone has been on both sides of the fence, commercial and sport. I agree with his appointment.
So don't paint me with one brush. I take each person appointed on a case by case basis. Come on Sarah, what the hell were you thinking?
She has turned the politics of fish allocation to a new hight and it is not a pretty sight. Have a good night.
not sure where you get this stuff
The comments about what the BOF historical makeup is just plain wrong. Each Governor has appointed representatives on a number of criteria - one being the geographic area represented. In fact, that was a major criteria for some appointments.
So this idea of tradition and the Board of Fish does not hold up when one looks at the history. I have been watching BOF appointments since 1980 and believe me the criteria are variable.
However, as I stated earlier, the idea of sport, commercial, and pu is the wrong approach. Users have taken the Board of Fish process in the ditch and it will stay there until the legislature makes some changes on make-up criteria that look for something other than a person holding a fishing rod or setting a net.
Short History of BOF
Some Alaskans have a very short memory, or they havenít live here long enough to know the real history of the Boards of Fishery and the Board of Game, and the final group is those with selective memories. Statehood was held over a year by the federal government. The federal government mandated that a Board of Game and Fish should be established to manage state resources once federal control was give up. The make up of the original Board of Game and Fish was supposed to consist of Alaskan from all users groups. A review of the new state Board of Game and Fisheries showed a Board heavily favored by commercial fishermen. The federal government refused to accept the make up of the Board; they direct that changes have to be made more diverse. The next Board was made up of some from the previous Board members redefined from commercial fishermen to hunters, sports fishers and subsistence users. That was enough to satisfy the unknowing federal officials.
Commercial interest controlled the board nearly 50 years. Governor Knowles was the first and only governor that brought the Board of Fisheries in compliance with the federal mandate of nearly 50 years ago. Where did this fairytale come from, right out of an independent audit Conducted by the Alaskan State Legislature? Mr. Johnson nomination the Board of Fisheries is a slap in the face to average Alaskans. Mr. Johnson should be required to answer these questions many questions.
1. While you were a member or on the Board of a commercial fishing organizations submit proposal or proposals that that were intend to disrupt the PERSONAL USE fisheries in Cook Inlet?
2. According to Brandon Loomis article, you served as President of an organization that support the (United Fishermen of Alaska) in itsí 2007 push to drop the Sustainable Salmon Management Policy and would you oppose the Sustainable Salmon Management Policy being put in statue? (By BRANDON LOOMIS Anchorage Daily News Published: March 5, 2007)
3. During the 2008 Cook Inlet hearing did you support the 11 proposals submitted to disrupt or stop personal use fish in the Kenai River? Do you believe that all Alaskan have the rights to our natural resources what should be the limit for personal use fishing.
4. Since you wonít be able to vote on commercial fisheries, what benefit will you be to your user group?
5. Does the drift fleet harvest more northern bound salmon than settners, if so how would you used them to allow Northern District stocks to pass through the central district? Should the new genetics data be used to manage in season in Cook Inlet if so why not?
6. Many Cook Inlet commercial fishermen over the last 15 years or so have file copious law suits to over turn the actions of the Board of Fisheries. How many of those have you had some part of. Do you have a dog in the current law suite file to close down personal use Fishing in Cook Inlet and the rest of Alaska?
7. I asked that Mr. Johnson make public the articles that he wrote for the news papers.
I guess the process will continue to be "in the ditch" until the board consists of all commercial fishermen. This is just a continuation of the selfish and self-serving push to re-gain total domination of all Alaska fisheries by commercial users.
Originally Posted by Nerka
Come on gang - write your legislator and send a message that you support the rights of individual Alaskans to harvest fish in personal use, sport or subsistance fisheries and not be forced to buy them from persons who use a public resource for personal profit. Oppose the appointment of another commercial fisherman to the Board of Fish
you are part of the problem
Gusdog44 - I guess you cannot read. I never said and never want a user dominated Board of Fisheries. You calling people self serving and selfish is funny - look in a mirror given what you have posted here. Why would you oppose Brent if not self serving to your interests? I guess my point is proven - we are in the ditch with user groups trying to control a billion dollar industry.
Originally Posted by gusdog44
Relative to Big Fisherman comments - I believe a number of user groups have sued the Board of Fisheries over time (AOC is in one right now) to question the legal foundation of their decisions. That is part of the process. If one user group is given an unfair advantage because of a polluted process the other user groups have a right to challenge it. Would you not agree iwth this?
I believe Brent can answer the questions you pose without problem. However, I noticed you did not ask Johnstone the same questions or other questions about UCI. Is that because you feel he is in your pocket or court and therefore this is about control of the BOF and not the qualifications of the individual?
Until Alaska fisheries are managed by a professional Board made up of people who really want to look out for the majority of Alaskans who do not fish or hunt then we are in trouble. I find it interesting that commercial, sport, and personal use fisherman think they own the resource or have some God given right to it. When it says the resources are owned in common that means the majority of Alaskan who own the resource do not even use it directly.
Originally Posted by Nerka
Would it kill you to treat other w/ respect Nerka?
I can see you ideals being as big as a problem as someone who is representing a particular user group.... So I will go further and ask u... This group of professionals would be similiar to those that are members of KAFC... X fisheries and wildlife biologist and managers? This idea would be similiar to the make of of OSM if i am corrrect in you assumption...
I think the greatest part about the AK board is it is not made up of fisheries and wildlife biologists.... I already think these managers have a unfair and very biased role in decisions the board makes. The currrent mangers have a big of influence as the user groups invovled.