It's sport fishers' fault if they feel committee representation unfair
Rumor has it that the Kenai-Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee is a den of commercial fishers who plot the demise of the real world.
That's an acceptable appraisal, considering its source. But is it true?
There are 17 advisory committees in the Southcentral region and five regions in the State. Each committee reflects the interests of the people in their local community who care about fish and game management. Anchorage and Mat-Su advisory committees don't have suitable representation for commercial fishing interests. Never have. Never will. Everyone knows that and yet no one complains. There is a tendency for the different advisory committees to offer diverse advice from which the Boards of Fish or Game can glean information. Why, then, are there complaints about the Kenai-Soldotna advisory committee?
Because in contrast to the multiple advisory committees in the state, there is only one Board of Fish. That board is made up of individuals, and there isn't a person in the lot that makes his living from commercial fishing. This board doesn't like what it hears from the Kenai-Soldotna advisory committee. Never has. Doesn't now. Therefore, it looks for reasons why it shouldn't listen and has championed the current charade about the Kenai-Soldotna group being stacked with commies.
McCarthyism lives! But the advisory committee commies listen to sport fishers and guides. Those sports said that spawning kings are caught in the confluence of certain tributaries of the Kenai River. They asked the advisory committee to recommend expanding closures in these areas. This refers to early run kings. They are of no interest to commercial fishers. The Board of Fish took these kings away from commercial fishers 40 years ago. The advisory committee took the sport users' advice and followed the precautionary principle because early run kings have been in a conservation concern mode for some time.
The same sports said guides were renting boats and using them to guide on days closed to guiding. The advisory committee again followed the sports' recommendation and asked the board to not allow rentals during these days. That, again, has little to do with commies. It is an inequity that burns honest guides and sport fishers.
How hard would it be to wrest control from the bigoted commies? About 20 people showed up for the Jan. 2 advisory committee elections. Some had sport leanings. Others had hunting interests. Most were commies. Still, how hard can it be to bring 20 people of your interest to 45 minutes of elections?
Some prominent sport fisher who moonlights at writing showed up at the meeting and took part in some of the discussion. He was nominated to serve on the advisory committee. But he declined because he claims to "not join very many things."
That's odd because he has been a member of the Complainers Club for some time.
Brent Johnson, chair, Kenai-Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee
Guide, sport fisher would be warmly welcomed to panel
Les Palmer attended the recent Kenai-Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee meeting, but apparently didn't bother to pay attention to the proceedings or some of the housekeeping tasks which were being addressed.
Apparently, Mr. Palmer is aware of some "sport fishermen" who perceive the committee as being heavily weighted in favor of commercial fishers from Cook Inlet and blames this perceived biased on the committee.
As mentioned by Mr. Palmer, the committee has designated equal representation among each of the fish user groups. That is the inlet commercial fishers, the guide industry, the personal-use fishers and finally the sport fishers, each have two seats. If Mr. Palmer can come up with a more equitable split than this configuration, he is welcome to make us aware of it. The voting is rarely unanimous and that is understandable, but the state board is not looking for such agreement. It is helpful for the state board to know what each user group thinks of any given proposal.
If Mr. Palmer would attend any public meeting in our community, he would observe that unless there is a proposal to increase taxes or take away the permanent fund dividend most people would rather watch football or go snowmachining. Most public meetings want for public presentation and the elected ones feel lonely at the meetings. It is far easier to sit home and gripe about decisions made at meetings than attend and be counted.
Mr. Palmer is correct in that, as of now, we need a sport fisher to fill the second seat allotted to that group. We had hoped to also attract a Kenai River guide to give input representative of their feelings but none came forward. Les blames us for these two fisher groups not stepping forward when in reality it is due to sheer laziness on the part of these two groups. We even asked Mr. Palmer if he would like to fill the sport fisher seat and he declined! We have had the guide industry represented until recently when Mr. Jacobson resigned to attend Bible College. If any other guide had stepped forward, he or she would have been welcomed warmly to fill that seat.
The proposal Mr. Palmer mentions as being anti-sport fisher (268) was indeed submitted by the guide association. Wherever was he when we noted the origin of the proposal?
As the lone person currently representing the true sport fisher, I would welcome any opportunity to help recruit an additional member. I urge all user groups to speak up and attend meetings and not sit home and complain as Mr. Palmer so aptly does.
Peter E. Cannava, M.D., Soldotna
Preventing unwanted pets far better than killing litter of pups
This is an open letter to the person or persons who threw away a live litter of puppies in the Anchor Point Dumpster just before Christmas.
While indisputably effective, tossing unwanted puppies into a Dumpster at 30 degrees below zero can hardly be considered a humane form of birth control. Since I was raised to believe that the quality of a man can be judged by the way in which he treats those animals lesser than himself, not much can be said for your character as a human being either.
The Alaska SPCA Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic will start its monthly visits to my home again this spring. Please call me to schedule an appointment for your dog. (No need to tell who you are -- I really don't want to know.) It will cost $35 to spay your female dog, $25 to neuter your male. If you don't have the money, I'll see that it is paid for. If you have a transportation problem, I'll arrange something.
Trust me, prevention is a far better solution than destruction.
Nancy K. Wall, Alaska SPCA Mobile Clinic Volunteer, Sterling
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