River board seeks input

State taking applications through Oct. 15

Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board is looking for some new faces.

As many as four vacancies are up for appointment on the 15-person board. Applications will be taken through Oct. 15 for anyone interested in serving on the board, according to Jack Sinclair, Kenai Area Superintendent for Alaska State Parks.

Comprised of commercial fishermen, Kenai River guides, riverfront property owners, government officials and concerned citizens, the KRSMA board is one of the most diverse and influential entities serving the Kenai Peninsula. The board is responsible for giving local advice to Alaska State Parks, which is the lead agency in charge of managing the approximately 78 river miles that comprise the special management area.

Sinclair said Wednesday that Department of Natural Re-sources Commissioner Tom Irwin will be responsible for selecting the new board members. Sinclair said the idea is to keep a variety of users on the board in order to provide as wide a range of opinions as possible.

"We really do look for a cross-section of users on the board," Sinclair said.

At least one board member — Dave Westerman — has resigned. But Sinclair said there could be as many as three additional seats open to new members. Appointees serve two-year terms.

The only criteria for serving, he said, is having a vested interest in the Kenai River and its surrounding ecosystem.

"You don't need to be from the peninsula," he said. "But the people on the board all have close ties to the river."

Sinclair said the easiest way for someone interested in serving is to visit the Parks Web site at www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/.

Applications are availible on the site.

Irwin will review all applications received and select new board members sometime after the middle of October. The board meets monthly throughout the winter.

Some issues the board has tackled in recent years include trying to limit the number of Kenai River guides, monitoring river water contamination levels and trying to bring new land into the special management area.

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