The Kenai River is undeniably the life blood of the Kenai Peninsula, and as such many have an opinion about how to ensure this heavily-used waterway doesn't become too popular for its own good.
One such organization devoted to this concept is the Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board which currently is recruiting up to four new board members to serve as public member representatives.
"It's an opportunity to work on an array of different issues related to recreational use of the Kenai River," said Jack Sinclair, the Alaska State Parks agency representative to the board.
The KRSMA board is a 17-member advisory board comprised of nine members representing a broad spectrum of public interests, and eight members representing various state or federal agencies or local government. The board advises the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources on issues related to the management of the Kenai River Special Management Area, which consists of more than 105 linear miles of rivers and lakes, including Kenai Lake, Skilak Lake, and the Kenai River from River Mile 82 downstream to four miles above the river's mouth on Cook Inlet.
"Everyone on the board takes their role very seriously," Sinclair said, and added that any newcomers should "expect to be fully engaged in the discussions and issues in front of them."
In the coming year, the KRSMA board will be working on the continuing implementation of the recommendations in the Kenai River Comprehensive Management Plan. Some of the special projects that will be addressed include reviewing the most recent boat wake study that evaluated wakes produced by different types of boats with different passenger loading, direction of travel, planing or plowing and multiple boat wake effects. In addition, the KRSMA board will be pursuing recommendations made earlier this year regarding horsepower restrictions and recreational user education, Sinclair said.
As in years past, the KRSMA board will be meeting monthly beginning next month, so those interested in a position on the board should not procrastinate.
"We meet the second Thursday of every month from September through May," Sinclair said.
Landowners, commercial or sport fishermen, recreational boaters and others interested in Kenai River habitat, fish or wildlife resources or recreation issues, are urged to apply for a position. Incumbent board members whose terms are expiring this year may also indicate their desire to continue on the board and may be reappointed.
Persons interested in being considered are encouraged to contact Alaska State Parks at 262-5581 or the Kenai River Center at 260-4882 to pick up an application. Applications are due Oct. 1.
Joseph Robertia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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