Alaska News

Subsistence Panel Looks Toward Future of Salmon Management

APRN Alaska News - Thu, 2014-10-09 17:36

Tribal co-management and Chinook bycatch took center stage Tuesday at a subsistence panel at the Association of Village Council Presidents conference.

Download Audio

Reflecting on a tense and important 2014 season, Cora Campbell, the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game thanked the packed room of Y-K Delta fishermen for their sacrifices.

Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell. (Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK)

“I want to start by complimenting you on the leadership and conservation ethics that people showed this season in understanding that the salmon needed to pass to the spawning grounds. Thank you for conserving chinook salmon,” said Campbell.

Federal managers controlled the Chinook fishery early in the summer. And if tribal leaders build on momentum to create Tribal Fish Commissions, there could soon be new management players. Sky Starkey is a longtime attorney for the AVCP and presented an aggressive timeline for bringing in voices.

“The overriding hope is that the tribes and the commission would meet together in the early spring and develop among themselves their ideas on how they want the rivers managed next year. Those tribal management plans for Chinook salmon will go to the Department and the Fish and Wildlife Service and be part of what happens for fishing next year,” said Starkey.

There are still many unresolved questions related to legal issues and funding the commissions. Starkey says one idea is to institute heavy fines on Pollock boats that catch Chinook salmon in their nets and use those funds for the commissions.

AVCP Attorney Sky Starkey. (Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK)

Bycatch was never far from panelist remarks. Commissioner Campbell touted the state’s efforts to push the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s current study of possible steep reductions to Chinook bycatch limits.

“What we have heard is we want the burden of conservation to be shared amongst all users, what we’ve heard is that when we have restrictions in river, that we want other users to be contributing to the future of king salmon as well,” said Campbell.

Victor Joseph, CEO of the Tanana Chiefs Conference reminded the convention that the health of the fishery depends on the support of all users.

“We need to know what’s happening from a holistic viewpoint with this fish and our fisheries. When I’m looking at it whether it’s the federal government state, tribes at the table, all other concerned parties at the table, we need to find balance,” said Joseph.

Gene Peltola Junior from the Federal Office of Subsistence Management also spoke in the session.

Categories: Alaska News

Environmental Activists Forming Fairbanks Chapter of Climate Change Organization

APRN Alaska News - Thu, 2014-10-09 17:35

Fairbanks-area environmental activists say they’re building on the momentum they generated two weeks ago during the local observance of the global People’s Climate March. They’re forming a local chapter of the national organization to help reduce the impact of climate change.

Download Audio

Andrew McDonnell says there’s a reason that he and about 75 others turned out for the Sept. 21 People’s Climate Marchhere in Fairbanks, along with hundreds of thousands of others worldwide. That is, Alaska is among the places that will be most affected by climate change.

Participants gather in Griffin Park downtown at the start of the Sept. 21 march. (Credit Kristin Timm)

“It’s very important to have one here in Alaska” he said, “because we’re very exposed to the problem of climate change and the dangers that it is imposing on us.”

Another marcher, Kristin Timm, says despite the fact that Alaska’s economy is based on extraction of oil, the state’s future economic health depends on diversifying away from dependence on such climate-changing fossil fuels.

“As an Alaskan and somebody who wants to stay in Alaska, I really want to see Alaska prosper,” Timm said. “I want to see our economy be vibrant. I want to see our livelihood be protected from the changes that climate change will give us here in Alaska.”

Timm says even though Fairbanks is far away from the huge marches that were held around the world, she linked-up with others by live-tweeting the local observance.

“I can only hope that people from other marches around the world were seeing what we were doing in Fairbanks and realizing that even our relatively small community has something to say and contribute about this bigger discussion,” she said.

McDonnell says he and Timm and other local organizers are determined to keep that discussion going – and then to follow those words with action.

“Being out there and waving our signs – it’s good, but it doesn’t really solve the problem,” he said. “So that’s why we’re looking into other solutions and really making a sustained effort to address the climate change problem.”

McDonnell says that sustained effort will take many forms, but it’ll be based on grassroots organizing and action. And it’ll begin with formation of local chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby, which will be the third in the state and among more than 150 worldwide.

Timm says the chapters will lobby lawmakers in their states to enact legislation to establish a revenue-neutral carbon tax, one that won’t end up costing consumers more but that will help move the United States away from dependence on fossil fuels.

Categories: Alaska News

Alaska News Nightly: October 9, 2014

APRN Alaska News - Thu, 2014-10-09 17:06

Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn

Download Audio

Shageluk Man Arraigned On Murder Charges In Bethel

Daysha Eaton, KYUK – Bethel

Everett Semone of Shageluk was arraigned on murder charges at the Bethel court this afternoon. He is accused of killing his parents with an axe in the village of Shageluk earlier this week.

Alaska National Guard Officer Recommended For ‘Other Than Honorable’ Discharge

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

A Lieutenant Colonel in the Alaska National Guard was recommended for an “other than honorable” discharge earlier this year, according to a story in this week’s Anchorage Press. Joseph Lawendowski is the guard’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Training.

Reporter David Holthouse says he started looking into Lawendowski after reading the National Guard Bureau’s Office of Complex Investigations report that came out last month.

AEA: Fisheries Service Criticism of Susitna Dam Studies ‘Untenable, Bordering On The Absurd’

Phillip Manning, KTNA – Talkeetna

The Alaska Energy Authority has responded to letters from the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that questioned research being done on the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project.

Officials Say Violence Against Foster Parents Extremely Rare

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

KSKA DJ Marvell Johnson was killed this week by his foster son. But state officials with the foster care system stress that events like this are extremely rare and they have systems in place to keep foster parents and children safe.

As Part Of Investigation, Feds Will Hear From UAS Students About Sexual Assault

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

Students at the University of Alaska Southeast will get a chance to talk to federal auditors about sexual assault on campus.

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights will be at the UAS Juneau campus Friday as part of an examination of the university’s handling of complaints and reports of sexual harassment and violence.

Governor’s Race Brings Walker To Unalaska

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

With less than a month until Election Day, the race to become Alaska’s next governor is heating up. Independent candidate Bill Walker and his Democrat running mate are canvassing the state for votes – all the way out to the Aleutians.

KSM Mine Project Wins Key Permits

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

A controversial British Columbia mine northeast of Ketchikan has gained some key permits needed for construction.

But the KSM project still needs other government approvals – and large investments – before mining can begin. Also, a company with nearby claims says it must also grant approval.

Subsistence Panel Looks Toward Future of Salmon Management

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

Tribal co-management and Chinook bycatch took center stage Tuesday at a subsistence panel at the Association of Village Council Presidents conference.

Environments Activists Forming Fairbanks Chapter of Climate Change Organization

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Fairbanks-area environmental activists say they’re building on the momentum they generated two weeks ago during the local observance of the global People’s Climate March. They’re forming a local chapter of the national organization  to help reduce the impact of climate change.

 

Categories: Alaska News

Pages