Status quo not healthy for humans, fish

Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2002

The events of the last few weeks concerning the Board of Fisheries appointments have caused our Kenai Peninsula a great amount of stress. It is time that the citizens of the Kenai Peninsula come together and develop new ways of trying to resolve our concerns over salmon allocation and management.

Surely, there has to be the leadership in our communities that can come forward and plan for salmon management for the next quarter century.

At the "Salmon Summit" recently held in Kodiak, each of the eight major salmon management areas of the state were challenged and encouraged to develop long-range regional plans. Cook Inlet needs to come together and collectively develop a vision of how our salmon resources will be managed, harvested and allocated in the longer term.

The high levels of conflict we are experiencing are probably not healthy for either salmon or people.

If we as the Kenai Peninsula can agree on our collective future, then individuals who may serve on the Board of Fisheries may take on a peninsula view of salmon management, as compared with some other view.

It's time to heal the wounds and plan for the future.

Bob Merchant, president

United Cook Inlet Drift Association

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