HB 41 - Return Habitat Division back to ADFG
I wanted to get the word out that there is a bill now in the House to Return Habitat Division back to Fish and Game. We have discussed this issue previously on the Fishing forum, and I'm x-posting this on the hunting forum as well.
For those who may not know the particulars, Governor Murkowski, by executive order, and against the recommendations of every former Fish and Game commissioner, removed the Habitat permitting division out of Fish and Game and placed it within DNR. The reasoning behind this was to "streamline" the permitting of new resource development projects, but this order effectively gutted the checks and balances we'd had since statehood, and removed the authority for permitting and protections of our fisheries and waters from ADFG, the one agency committed to protecting those things, and placed it within an agency whose mission, and culture, is far different than that of ADFG.
Alaska Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has sent in written comments to the legislature on this bill. You can read them at the link below, and they will provide more background info:
The link to the bill text is HERE.
I strongly urge all hunters and anglers to voice their support for this bill. Out constitutional founders recognized that resource development was extremely important to Alaska's future, but also that we needed to provide some checks and balances in order that we did not make the same mistakes as the lower-48 with our fisheries and habitat. For over four decades, Habitat biologists within ADFG reviewed and permitted countless new resource development projects, while still maintaining the largest wild salmon runs in the world. Governor Murkowski changed all that with a stroke of the pen, at the behest of big money and industry. It was a terrible idea to move habitat out of ADFG, and we need to move it back.
Thanks for listening,
Bushrat's right on the money. A bunch of us tried to resolve a local habitat/fisheries problem for the last couple of years. Nothing political and no one was against it, but the atmosphere in state government was so bad, we couldn't get anything done. Even though both ADF&G biologists and DNR folks agreed that it was a problem! They simply weren't allowed to work close together enough to get anything done.
Things are already looking up now that Ole Buzzard Gizzard is off on his world cruise and his jet is getting laughs on ebay, and a solution is under way. Gotta get habitat back into ADF&G so the checks and balances can bridge the canyon that Frankie built.
today's ADN opinion piece
I agree with this piece, Palin should quit waffling. Maybe she would if more of us voiced our opinion on this important issue. If we don't get Habitat back to ADFG now, it will likely always stay within DNR.
-33 here this morn...brrrr.