Fish, Game Boards

Letters to the Editor / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / March 20, 2004

To the Editor,

I have spent many days of my adult life hunting and fishing in the state of Alaska. I have hunted a lot of this great land. I have also had the opportunity to participate in the process that the Board of Game and the Board of Fish offers to us, as Alaskans.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board of Game for finally bringing a common-sense approach to the management of our resources. Our local representatives on the board demonstrated their expertise in the area of big game and predators. Pete Buist and Sharon McCloud-Everette have proved to me that they have indeed spent many hours in the Alaska wilderness and they have obviously been users of the resources that they are charged with keeping. It is refreshing to me to see this. It has been too long in coming. If we manage the prey, then we must manage the predators as well. I would like to congratulate all the members of the Board of Game on a job well done.

The Board of Fish is another thing altogether. It amazes me that an "Alaskan" board can have so much "Outside" influence. Judging by their actions, we need to rename the board to the Commercial Fish Board. Please keep in mind that this is the same board that ruled that dip netting at Chitina be classified as personal use fishery and not a subsistence fishery. This means that if there is a shortage of fish in a run, the commercial fisherman will get his allotment before you. Then they will allow you to go down and work your tail off for whatever might be left. They have liberalized the commercial fishing all over the state. I believe our fisheries could in real danger. The appointments to this board were heavily in favor of the commercial fisherman. I have heard they contribute heavily to political campaigns. How much does a Board of Fish go for nowadays? Some thoughts to ponder.

Scott Bidwell / Fairbanks --

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