Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cook Inlet Salmon Task Force — still alive

Remember the Cook Inlet Salmon Task Force?

That was the 10-member panel of legislators formed in the spring of 2008 to look at ways to boost poor salmon returns to northern Inlet, and to settle the perpetual feuding among commercial, sport, subsistence and dipnet fishermen in Alaska's busiest fishing hole.

The task force held a bunch of public meetings and was due to submit a report to the full Legislature long ago, but never did.

Now the project might be coming alive again.

The task force is on the agenda for a Legislative Council hearing to begin at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Legislative Information Office in downtown Anchorage.

The council is a group of senators and representatives that takes care of legislative business during the months when lawmakers aren't in session.

Anyway, the man who chairs the salmon task force, Anchorage Republican Rep. Craig Johnson, still wants to produce a report for his colleagues, and he has a proposal in front of the Legislative Council to deliver it by the start of the 2010 legislative session.

"Your approval is requested to authorize the expenditure of $20,000 to hire Mark Higgins to prepare a report for submission to the Alaska State Legislature," says a letter Johnson sent yesterday to Rep. John Harris, chairman of the Legislative Council.

Higgins would pull together the "huge amount of technical data" the task force compiled and draft "this highly complex and important report," the letter says.

Higgins has a University of Utah law degree and "professional experience working with Alaska fisheries issues," the letter adds.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

give me a break. craig johnson is a neanderthal when it comes to fish and habitat protection. he's the guy who has single handedly kept murkowski's mixing zone in spawning beds rule in place. this report will be wholly political.