Friday, January 15, 2010

Feds declare Yukon fisheries disaster

From the Alaska governor's office:

Jan. 15, 2010

Secretary Declares Federal Fisheries Disaster for Yukon Chinook

ANCHORAGE — Gov. Sean Parnell today welcomed a decision by Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke finding that a disaster has occurred with the 2009 Yukon River Chinook salmon run, opening the door for federal aid to the area.

"I appreciate Secretary Locke's recognition of the severity of the situation along the Yukon River and the dependence of Alaskans on these salmon runs," Gov. Parnell said.

The federal disaster declaration is in response to requests made by Gov. Parnell, the Association of Village Council Presidents and the Alaska Federation of Natives.

The request detailed the biological and economic situation on the Yukon River and the impacts of the reduced Chinook runs.

The declaration does not bring immediate aid to the affected area. The congressional delegation must still secure a federal appropriation. Federal aid, once secured, could be used for relief programs, stock research, training programs, fisheries infrastructure, or other regional projects.

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