Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hired help in Juneau

Me and Bob T. in the Capitol. No, he doesn't lobby for Deckboss.

After this week, the Alaska Legislature will move into the last half of its 90-day session.

Time for all those Juneau lobbyists to earn their keep.

Which has me wondering: Who in Alaska's seafood industry needs a lobbyist?

Deckboss analyzed the new lobbyist directory from the Alaska Public Offices Commission and identified 20 businesses or nongovernmental organizations paying for lobbying services this year:

• Alaska Crab Coalition
• Alaska Scallop Association
• Alaska Seine Boat Owners Association
• Armstrong-Keta Inc.
• Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp.
• Douglas Island Pink & Chum Inc.
• F/V Pamela Rae Inc.
• Icicle Seafoods Inc.
• Icy Strait Seafoods Inc.
• Ocean Beauty Seafoods LLC
• OceansAlaska
• Pacific Seafood Processors Association
• Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corp.
• Rozema Boat Works
• Sitka Herring Group
• Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association
• Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association
• United Fishermen of Alaska
• United Southeast Alaska Gillnetters
• Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association

You might notice the list includes several hatchery operators, who birth and partially raise a large percentage of Alaska's "wild" salmon.

One of them, in fact, the Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corp., is spending the most of anyone on the list — $48,000 split between two lobbyists, Kate Tesar and Ian Fisk.

The top fish lobbyist, judging by his tally of clients and fees, is Bob Thorstenson Jr. He represents seven of the listed organizations: the Alaska Crab Coalition; the Alaska Scallop Association; the Alaska Seine Boat Owners Association; Armstrong-Keta Inc., which runs a hatchery southeast of Sitka; Rozema Boat Works of Mount Vernon, Wash.; the Sitka Herring Group; and the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association.

Thorstenson, a commercial salmon seiner, reports he'll bag $95,500 in lobbying fees this year.


Anonymous said...

I have a more probing question:

Why does a lobbyist named Bobby T incorporate his fishing boat, the F/V Pamela Rae and hire a lobbyist named Manuel Floyd KOOKESH to lobby on behalf of said corporation in Juneau for issues related to:

"Achieving EHS ( Equal Harvest Share) in the Sitka Sac Roe Fishery between now and the 2012 SE Alaska Board of Fish Finfish meeting."

By the way, this article is interesting, a Floyd Kookesh was hired as Tlingit & Haida Central Subsistence Coordinator last month:

Let's see, Bobby T is lobbying for fish hatcheries, Sitka Herring. He has Floyd Kookesh lobbying for him in the Sitka Herring Roe fishery. Then Kookesh is employed now by Tlingit & Haida Central Council, but he is receiving $500 per month from the F/V Pamela Rae, INCORPORATED (same Calhoun Street Address as Southeast Revitalization Association and Southeast Seiners) -- do I smell a rat (or a nest of rats)?

Anonymous said...

Hey...Thanks for the Hitlist...

Anonymous said...

Wesley is a lazy report, BTW. He doesn't print all the news fit to print. Last year in the Wrangell Seafoods bankruptcy case he was selectively posting documents in the bankruptcy filing. Since the topic of discussion is lobbying in Juneau, old Wes missed this little tidbit: Sitka Herring is an old standy client of Bobby T, but Wrangell Seafoods was too. Sitka Herring has long been involved with Treinen. And who were minor owners in Wrangell Seafoods, unknown until the bankruptcy filing of creditors? None other than Treinen and Bobby T - nice.

But Old Wes Loy didn't think that was newsworthy enough to report. I happen to think so, not just because of lobbying; just think, Mr. Son of Icicicle Seafoods Founder also had a position in Wrangell Seafoods as well. Imagine that.

Anonymous said...

Who really represents the Sitka Sac Roe Fishery?

Here is an old comment on the Deckboss from this thread:

steve said...

Can I talk to you about the sac roe fishery?
Steve Reifenstuhl
Executive Director
Southeast Herring Conservation Alliance

I represent the 50 sac roe fishermen.
September 17, 2009 2:55 PM

One might conclude that Bobby T, who has a controlling interest in the F/V Pamela Rae, Inc. and has hired Floyd KOOKESH to lobby on behalf of Sitka sac roe fishermen, may be in cahoots with Riefenstuhl.

And as some may know, Riefenstuhl used to be employed at NSRAA, but now works for Silver Bay Seafoods. But he got confused and signed in at a BOF meeting back in 1/2009 for both NSRAA and Silver Bay - I know it's confusing when they are co-located at Sawmill Cove, but you can only work for one master (especially when one is a non-profit).

Anonymous said...

So are you sayin FV Pamela Rae pays it's owner, [tax deductable expense] Bobby Thorstenson to lobby the legislature?

How creative!

Philip Munger said...


You're bragging about how bad a job you're doing as a blogger?

Your lack of curiosity, combined with the actual knowledge you do have of Alaska fisheries, personalities, players and so on is unique in Alaska history. Too bad you're so dim when it comes to the science and ecology end of things.

But - as some commenters at this post and others have observed - keep writing, because factual stuff actually does get into your articles from time to time.

Can't praise the context, though.

Anonymous said...

Phil: The Context of the DeckBoss is fisheries people and politics 101, not necessarily fisheries science and education.

Not that a blog on fisheries science and education would be bad, it is just not Wesley's main focus.

What's so wrong with that?

From a man who writes a blog about the politics of every issue in Alaska and the World through a "progressive" political lens, your complaint rings hollow regarding the context of this blog by Wesley.

And by the way, anytime I have seen science and education blogged on your progressive website, it has been through the lens of the Progressive agenda and slant.

For example, the issue of closures on the Yukon is complex, as it blends science, fish and politics.

The progressive blog slanted the issue as a poor me on the lower Yukon, Bering Sea bycatch is the only reason we are having issues on the Yukon with kings.

When in fact the lower Yukon River commercial fishermen have dragged their feet kicking and screaming at reducing their unrestricted net mesh size in the face of size and age issues for kings on the Yukon. Unrestricted mesh size selects for larger fish, and there has been a reduction is both size and age class on the Yukon over the past couple of decades.

Both the BOF and the Federal Subsistence Board have been looking at the issue of unrestricted mesh size intensely for the past couple of years, and ADFG has been doing a multi-year research project on the very issue. So the issue of the impact of the unrestricted mesh size used by the lower river Yukon commercial fishermen has been publically known for quite some time.

Finally this year the BOF put in a net restriction to 7 1/2", and probably could have gone to 7" or 6 1/2" mesh if they had wanted to go more conservative.

The Federal Subsistence Board will review the BOF actions on mesh size in April, and will have to decide whether or not their actions went far enough on this issue.

It was good that the BOF finally paid attention to an issue of importance for Upper River Yukon users had been discussing for many years, but the issue had been blunted by lower Yukon river commercial fishermen.

However, on your blog, you never challenged the lower river Yukon commercial fishermen to accept any responsibility for reduced size and age class structure of kings on the Yukon, because it didn't filter through your progressive lens that poor commercial fishermen on the lower Yukon could have had any influence on Kings on the Yukon.

What type of context is that Phil?

So just shut it on calling Wesley the only black kettle in the blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

...I successfully downloaded and printed a continuous copy of this picture on my roll of toilet paper...problem smells of shit even before I use it....Gee I wonder why....??? This article isn't even good for wiping your ass with...

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear a new theme re the implications of "indian country" being inserted into S 881 and the implications that has for judge boldt II in Alaska

WHEREAS, Sealaska has adequate lands already to make their
final selections from as provided by ANCSA, and
WHEREAS, the community of Port Protection will lose all
protection of our subsistence on these lands as guaranteed by
ANILCA Title VIII, which states that the policy of Congress is to
cause the least adverse impact possible on rural residents who
depend upon subsistence uses of the resources of such land, and
WHEREAS, proper procedure has not been followed in evaluating
the effects of such disposition of these lands on subsistence uses
and needs by the head of the Federal agency having primary
jurisdiction over such lands, as stated in ANILCA Title VIII,
Section 810, and
WHEREAS, Fisheries will be critically impacted by the logging of
the karst on North Prince of Wales and Kosciusko Islands, as
shown in USFS studies, and cause economic hardship on the users
of fisheries resources, and
WHEREAS, this Bill would negatively impact our quality of life,
property values, and the economies of fishing, tourism, lodges,
hunting and fishing guides, small mill operators, artists and the
public who are major stakeholders in public lands, and are now
transitioning into stable economies which are based on multiple
use of these public lands, and
WHEREAS, the community of Port Protection and the Sumner
Strait Advisory Board have invested time, money, and our lives for
years working in good faith with the US Government to preserve
the healthy forest habitat remaining that is necessary for our
subsistence lifestyle, and
WHEREAS, Many volunteers plus countless dollars have been
expended towards cataloging, studying and protecting karst
resources and discoveries on North Prince of Wales and Kosciusko
Islands, and _
WHEREAS, this Bill does not adequately address limits and uses
of countless Future, Heritage and Cultural sites given in this
legislation to protect and assure continual public access and use,
WHEREAS, infrastructure in place in these areas were bought at
large expense by all US citizens with their tax dollars and should
stay in ownership of those citizens, so that they may all benefit
from them, and
WHEREAS, a documented socio-economic system exists in small
subsistence communities, which depends upon both subsistence
uses and small commercial operations, the passage of S881 will
destroy components of this system and with it the integrity and
future viability of the community, and
WHEREAS, the unique natural beauty of this area, that drew us
here originally, will be destroyed for us and future generations,
WHEREAS, if this Bill passes, Sealaska will export these logs to
outside markets in the round, without primary processing,
undercutting US Forest Service timber sales thus providing only
limited employment, and
WHEREAS, there is no guarantee that Sealaska won’t sell the land
and negate any agreements and commitments they make about
subsistence uses and public access
This resolution was adopted by the Port Protection Community
This 28 th day of February, 2010.
Port Protection Community Association

Anonymous said...

How will the phrase "indian country' contained in S 881 affect commercial fishing rights in Alaska vis a vie S 881?

Anonymous said...

So Sealaska picked off most of the sockeye streams in Southeast for cultural sites. And have put in for a separate conveyance for Redoubt.

Anonymous said...

Map of Sealaska selections near sockeye streams

Anonymous said...

You might need another update on Judge Boldt and some of the the tribal confusion relating to the subject matter.

KLEINFELD, Circuit Judge, dissenting:
I respectfully dissent.
In my view, the better reading of “Puget Sound” is that it
means “Puget Sound.” We are engaged in the odd activity of
deciding what a long deceased judge thought was accurate
history about what happened 150 years earlier. We cannot
retry the case. The best way to determine what the judge
thought is the language he used. He said “Puget Sound.” True,
a good case could have been made under the evidence for
something narrower, something along the lines the majority
describes. There was not much evidence, not much more than
a report by an anthropologist about what she thought had been
the various tribal patterns 150 years before, based on
extremely sparse evidence available to her. I laid out my view
more fully in the earlier decision in this case, Upper Skagit
Tribe v. Washington, 576 F.3d 920 (9th Cir. 2009). I could be
wrong, and today’s majority could be wrong, but I am pretty
sure that it is a mistake to reopen the matter without any more
chance of being right.
Continually revisiting Judge Boldt’s decades-old opinions
(and the limited record supporting them) in an attempt to discern
what he thought the customs of multiple people were in
the 1850’s and earlier, besides being extremely burdensome
10Given this disposition, we do not need to reach Upper Skagit’s further
argument that Suquamish is judicially estopped from arguing that the term
“Puget Sound” is ambiguous.
and expensive, is a fundamentally futile undertaking. The
truth is not knowable. “This exercise is not law, and is not a
reliable way to find facts, so it is hard to see why courts are
doing it and how it could be preferable to the Indian tribes
working some dispute resolution system out for themselves.”1
That we now reverse ourselves in this iteration of the case
underscores the futility of our pursuit moving forward and
demonstrates why Judge Boldt’s 1974 decree and its implementation
process, continuing this case in perpetuity, should
be brought to an end.2
1U.S. v. Washington, 573 F.3d 701, 710-11 (9th Cir. 2009).
2See id.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about the relationship between Floyd Kookesh, Bobby T., Albert Kookesh, and the Kanalku river subsistence lawsuit?? I thought Bobby T. was on the outs with the Kookesh's, thus putting the Chatham straits seining in jeopardy.

Anonymous said...


Apoc missed the 75000 bobbyt gets from seas

That makes 170000