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Thread: Task Force Report

  1. #1
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default Task Force Report

    Finally! The legislative salmon task force is out, in draft form, and available for public perusal. At 96 pages its not a short read, but looks to be quite interesting. It will spur some "lively" debate, too, I'm sure. Now I just have to figure out how to link it in here.
    Last edited by willphish4food; 09-30-2009 at 11:31. Reason: took out link to my personal mailbox

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    A quick note: this report is still the Draft report, which was titled as "Draft Report to the Alaska State Legislature, DRAFT 4/18/09". It was sent out by a Senator's staff on 9/29/09. The final report is still not out, and it took 5 months from the publish date to release the DRAFT to the public. Seems like a mighty long wait for a public document.

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    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Default links...

    Rep. Johnson's cover letter for the report can be found here:
    http://www.housemajority.org/coms/jc...rce_letter.pdf

    And the draft report is here:
    http://www.housemajority.org/coms/jc...aft_Report.pdf

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    Default a big boo boo

    I'm only about half way through it, so far, but I'm pretty disturbed by a huge, glaring, and repeated error in the draft report.

    It starts on page 25, where it states (after citing the allocation criteria guidelines set out in AK Statute 16.05.251(e), "[...] the Board of Fisheries has never adopted any criteria for fishery allocations – despite the fact that the legal requirement to do so has been in place since 1986. That fact alone argues for continued legislative inquiry into the Cook Inlet salmon allocation process."

    How can anyone even remotely familiar with the BOF process say this? The report repeats this again on the top of page 35.

    The report even (but only) footnotes (#58) that the board has adopted 5 AAC 39.205 which states that the Board will consider factors such as those set out in the statute...but, even worse, the report completely fails (at least as far as I've read) to note the 1991 Board finding 91-3-FB...titled "ALASKA BOARD OF FISHERIES ALLOCATION CRITERIA".

    The finding is easily found on the BOF's website under the section called "frequently used regulations and policies" (convenient, huh?), it's included in every single meeting binder that BOF members get, and the criteria are referenced regularly in Board deliberations.

    Clearly, some people can and have taken issue with how the Board has interpreted those criteria to justify its decisions...the report clearly takes issue on page 35 (and I've posted in another thread about the subjective nature of those criteria)...but I completely fail to see how someone can (with a straight face) say the Board doesn't have or utilize any criteria for making allocative decisions.
    Last edited by MRFISH; 09-30-2009 at 13:08. Reason: clarifying footnote #58 reference

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default

    Thank you for finding the links, Fish. It will be interesting to see the final report, if it ever gets issued, and see what changes are made between it and the draft report. I don't know why they would say "Board doesn't have or utilize any criteria for making allocative decisions." Unless, perpaps, because it is just not apparent from their actions that the Board is utilizing the criteria that are in place. I'm still muddling my way through the report... more later.

  6. #6

    Default Not a report

    This document is more like a diatribe at public expense. Full of errors and inconsistencies, this "report" is so biased that the seafood press in Seattle basically referred to Johnson and the rest of the task force as a legislative joke. Rightly so. The 2009 wier counts totally undermine the "assumptions" made in the report, even though the report was not supposed to make assumptions or recommendations. The draft report was written before the money was even appropriated or approved, because some relative of Johnson's was the only person "capable" of writing the report. What a bunch of idiots. Bring back the DOJ and FBI, let's get to the bottom of this.

  7. #7

    Default Reprint

    SEAFA reprinted the seafood news article. http://www.seafa.org/?p=483#respond

    Apparently, not a relative of Johnson's who wrote the report, but the spouse of a staffer. Still pretty incestuous, although he "volunteered" his time. More like counted chickens before they hatched.

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    Default example of why they should stay out of it

    This report is a perfect example of why the legislature should stay out of the fish business and why our founders did a good job of trying to do that. The report is full of technical errors and assumptions. It is a sad situation when people who make decisions on the life blood of thousands of people demostrate they cannot do this critical job. Just think of what they do with the major decisions like the gas pipeline -

  9. #9

    Default Example of what happens when

    This report is an example of what happens when, the public loses confidence in the BOF. This is what happens when the credibility and competence of past and present biologists working for ADF&G is called into question. This is what happens when the impact to hundreds of thousands of residents and nonresidents are superseded by several thousand well lobbied constituents. This what happens when the allocation criteria set forth by the Supreme Court of the State of Alaska, is only partially applied. This is what happens when those who are the appointed stewards of the resource lose the public's confidence. If ADF&G and the BOF don't get it right, this is what will continue to happen. Right or wrong.

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    Exemplary of why politicians aren't fishery managers. The reckless interpretations, assumptions, errors, short-sightedness, and lacking would be amusing if it didn't have such a biased theme.

    tedhsfs, it is no wonder people have lost confidence in our fishery management...It's subject to this type of misguided political influence and pressure.

    I hope our State, fishery managers, and biologists stick to the established laws and practices that govern our fisheries. It's too bad the political task force didn't focus on the real problems with the Northern District.

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    UCIDA has an office, with paid staff, downstairs from the Soldotna F&G office. UFA has an office (with paid lobbyests) a half block away from the state capitol. Who appears to be capable of applying the most political pressure to the BOF and legislature and the commissioner of F&G?? It sure ain't the sportfishermen.

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    Default this is just bull

    Quote Originally Posted by gusdog44 View Post
    UCIDA has an office, with paid staff, downstairs from the Soldotna F&G office. UFA has an office (with paid lobbyests) a half block away from the state capitol. Who appears to be capable of applying the most political pressure to the BOF and legislature and the commissioner of F&G?? It sure ain't the sportfishermen.

    Kenai River Sport Fishing has millions of dollars from Ted Stevens and the Classic. They lobby better than anyone so do not give me the poor me bull from above statement. They hold their meetings in Juneau and have a number of legislators at the Classic.

    Also, when you make comments about the UCIDA downstairs from the Soldotna office you imply that ADF&G does what they want - nothing could be further from the truth and you owe ADF&G biologists - past and present - an apology.

    These are fighting words as far as I am concerned and if you want to continue this just keep posting this misinformation.

    For the record this report is not about mistrust of the people as implied by tedhsfs. Only a handful of people from the valley show up at meetings and Anchorage representation is even less. So this is about commercial in-river user groups vs out of river commercial user groups. The general public knows that ADF&G and the BOF are trying to do a good job. There are limitations on the BOF because of the lack of technical staff and time to review all the reports and a lack of disciplines on the BOF. However, that can be corrected. Within ADF&G there has been a shift to the opportunity mandate that needs some adjustment but overall the system is still better than other states and the general public knows this. This report is the product of ignorance and stupidity by the task force. They failed to learn which is more common in our society than I like to think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gusdog44 View Post
    UCIDA has an office, with paid staff, downstairs from the Soldotna F&G office. UFA has an office (with paid lobbyests) a half block away from the state capitol. Who appears to be capable of applying the most political pressure to the BOF and legislature and the commissioner of F&G?? It sure ain't the sportfishermen.
    If ethic violations and fishery laws have been broken, then post the evidence so we can prosecute. Otherwise please don't antagonize with conspiracy theories that have no credibility.

    It would be wonderful if all the different fishing organizations would work together under one roof. Just think of the efficiency and interaction. But they can't as long as folks call it a conspiracy.

    As for who's applying the plolitical pressure on the Northern District issue...The report is self-explanitory...10 politicians who know little about the fishery but who insist on trying to manage it.

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    Default

    Seems like I touched a nerve there......

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    Conspiracy theory accusations of unethical behavior and illegal activities usually do strike a nerve with those who seek the truth and thirst for the facts.

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    Funny thing about the task force is that it had members from predominataely commercial fishing districts as well as from sport fishing. As with any report, you can can probably find some inaccuracies. So you then can focus on them, or look at the facts presented and work from those, while trying to correct the inaccuracy. One fact is that this is a DRAFT report, issued in April, and it is now October with no final report yet released. Why has it been nearly 6 months, and still no final report? It would be my hope that the final report will address any misinformation or inaccuracies contained within the report.

    If the legislature is unhappy about the way the BOF is handling the state's fisheries, they will try to find people who will handle it more to their liking, through the confirmation process. Good or bad.

    I am heartened by the report, as the legislature is elected to represent the people. When the people are unhappy about management, their legislators should be concerned, and work to change the state of affairs that makes the people unhappy. This is representative government at work.

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    Default just not true again.

    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Funny thing about the task force is that it had members from predominataely commercial fishing districts as well as from sport fishing. As with any report, you can can probably find some inaccuracies. So you then can focus on them, or look at the facts presented and work from those, while trying to correct the inaccuracy. One fact is that this is a DRAFT report, issued in April, and it is now October with no final report yet released. Why has it been nearly 6 months, and still no final report? It would be my hope that the final report will address any misinformation or inaccuracies contained within the report.

    If the legislature is unhappy about the way the BOF is handling the state's fisheries, they will try to find people who will handle it more to their liking, through the confirmation process. Good or bad.

    I am heartened by the report, as the legislature is elected to represent the people. When the people are unhappy about management, their legislators should be concerned, and work to change the state of affairs that makes the people unhappy. This is representative government at work.
    For the record this is not a task force report. The task force has not voted to accept this report - it was put out by the chairman and in my opinion it was unethical to do so. The report was written by either his staff or the hired but unpaid attorney who is the husband of his staff meember.

    The report has not been finished because those who read the draft know it will take thousands of dollars to correct the mistakes, bad assumptions, and false statements. The facts are not even correct - for example the author assumes harvest represents run strength or production - that is not even close to the truth. Second, the author did not recognize or was aware that sockeye counts in the ND are much higher than thought and have met the goals - as opposed to the author's conclusion that they are short. Third, the author makes the 82/18 split as the measure criteria for the public good because it fits an agenda. However, that is a false way of looking at the issue. Fourth, the author assumes that increases in the sport and pu fishery will havest up to 50% of the sockeye run. Not even close since those fisheries do not take what is available to them today. Nor does the author discuss habitat issues which limit higher use patterns I could go on and on but this report is just plain garbage and the other task force members know it. Therefore, why finish it and put your name on it?

    Also Will this report speaks nothing to the will of the people. Your leap of logic there is not supported by any data. The task force author had an agenda and it shows in the report. That says nothing about the will of the people. One using your point could argue that the BOF reflects more the will of the people than any pseudo task force report.

  18. #18

    Default Damage control

    Reading the few post that have been submitted on this "report" it would appear damage control is in full swing. Not that it matters much. Very few are willing to take the time to separate fact from fiction. Until the advent of the internet, we, the concerned citizens and sportsmen, had little opportunity to review the information "experts" were feeding us. This has changed and some don't like it. In the world of science and academia, publish or perish is the rule. Bad published works lead to a short career. That is unless, you work for the government. This "report" will be picked apart by unbiased sources such as the "seafood press", commercial fishing groups, and state entities who see their "kingdoms" being reduced. Distortions or outright lies are being highlighted to cast doubt on the real facts. I guess the old way of doing business at ADF&G and the BOF is being called into question. I guess funding 30 years of sonar research on the Susitna, only to be told that data derived from it was useless, will no longer pass the smell test. I guess allocation criteria for fisheries will have to be applied along the line set forth by the State of Alaska Supreme Court, instead of using the "that's the way we've always done it." method. I guess those responsible for managing the resource will have to find a way to finance the best science available.
    One person has posted about allocation criteria, blatantly misleading. The report also warned that a large shift in allocation would not be advisable due to realistic harvests of excess allocation an a potential for economic waste. But why mess with the facts.

  19. #19
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tedhsfs View Post
    One person has posted about allocation criteria, blatantly misleading. The report also warned that a large shift in allocation would not be advisable due to realistic harvests of excess allocation an a potential for economic waste. But why mess with the facts.
    Well, tedhsfs, since I think I'm the only one who cited allocation criteria on this thread...how was my post "blatantly misleading"? I clearly cited the regulations/policies and also further qualified that people can and have disagreed with how those criteria have been applied. Clarify, please.

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    tedhsfs, why when people question the validity of the report is it suddenly "damage control"? You say, in sorts, that we've been victims of what we've been fed, yet you're asking us to accept this political interpretation without question.

    The author(s) of the report make assumptions that are lacking, based on errors and poor interpretations of basic concepts. It totally excludes some of the real problems. And whether we want to admit it or not, this task force report has roots as a Vally-driven, Lyda Green supported, political agenda. It's born out in the report with all the criticism and attacks toward the Kenai/Kasilof fisheries.

    The bad thing is, folks who do not have a solid and comprehensive understanding of the fishery, are easily deceived by reports like this.

    I think the report represents what it is...an attempt to manage the fishery politically.

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