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April 4th, 2013


Kenai River Sportfishing Association supporters:

We ask that you read this important update and take action against the appointment of Vince Webster to the Alaska Board of Fisheries by the Governor.

Vince Webster’s appointment needs confirmation by the Legislature, with a vote coming Monday, April 8. We need your assistance in voicing opposition to his confirmation. KRSA does not support the appointment of Vince Webster to the Alaska Board of Fisheries for the following reasons:

• He directly participated in precariously and unnecessarily lowering the escapement goal of Kenai River king salmon during a time of record low abundance and uncertain future production.
• As an experienced member on the BOF, Mr. Webster was tasked to co-chair a Cook Inlet king salmon task force. Its mission was essentially to identify the best mix of fishing opportunity during times of low king salmon abundance and the best means of attaining the escapement goal. Unfortunately, the final work product of the task force failed. The process he was tasked to oversee ended in deadlock.
• The failure of the task force rests in large part with Mr. Webster. A canceled December meeting wasted valuable time that could have been used to address ADFG processes to establish escapement goals. Subsequent meetings offered no forward progress and squandered valuable time, resources and energy of participants.
• Subsequently at the March BOF meeting, Mr. Webster led the charge to take the easy way out by accepting a risky, lowered escapement goal.
• Public perception is that the overriding agenda of Mr. Webster is to put commercial set netters back in the water during periods of low abundance.
• When a new board member tried to bring up discussion points on such fishery conservation issues, Mr. Webster led the fight to deny the airing of this important topic.

The resulting outcome of Mr. Webster’s actions puts at risk one of the signature king salmon fisheries in Alaska. The message from this Webster-led decision appears to be to lower the goal in order to use up the additional 6,000 fish as a cushion before implementing any restrictions on commercial set netters. Such an approach will almost certainly guarantee a spawning escapement that will be one of the lowest ever on record.

The Legislature has a trust responsibility to manage the state’s fishery resources and delegates its management authority to BOF. With this authority comes responsibility for the BOF to put conservation first. Before you can manage and allocate, you must first ensure conservation; Mr. Webster has failed in this duty

It now falls on the shoulders of the Legislature to repair this breach of public trust. We encourage all supporters of the sport and personal use fisheries to urge Legislators to vote “NO” on the reconfirmation of Mr. Webster to the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

We don’t have much time. Please contact your legislator immediately and tell them “NO VINCE WEBSTER!” Attached is list of emails for all Alaska legislators. Email and voice your objections to the confirmation of Vince Webster.

Thank you,

Ricky Gease
Executive Director
Kenai River Sportfishing Association

Governor Sean Parnell
Senator Click Bishop
Senator John Coghill
Senator Mike Dunleavy
Senator Fred Dyson
Senator Dennis Egan
Senator Johnny Ellis
Senator Anna Fairclough
Senator Hollis French
Senator Berta Gardner
Senator Cathy Giessel
Senator Lyman Hoffman
Senator Charlie Huggins
Senator Pete Kelly
Senator Lesil McGuire
Senator Kevin Meyer
Senator Peter Micciche
Senator Donny Olson
Senator Bert Stedman
Senator Gary Stevens
Senator Bill Wielechowski
Rep. Alan Austerman
Rep. Mike Chenault
Rep. Mia Costello
Rep. Harriet Drummond
Rep. Bryce Edgmon
Rep. Eric Feige
Rep. Neal Foster
Rep. Les Gara
Rep. Lynn Gattis
Rep. Max Gruenberg, Jr.
Rep. David Guttenberg
Rep. Mike Hawker
Rep. Bob Herron
Rep. Pete Higgins
Rep. Lindsey Holmes
Rep. Shelley Hughes
Rep. Doug Isaacson
Rep. Craig Johnson
Rep. Andrew Josephson
Rep. Scott Kawasaki
Rep. Wes Keller
Rep. Beth Kerttula
Rep. Gabrielle LaDoux
Rep. Bob Lynn
Rep. Charisse Millett
Rep. Cathie Munoz
Rep. BenjaminNageak
Rep. Mark Neuman
Rep. Kurt Olson
Rep. Lance Pruitt
Rep. Lora Reinbold
Rep. Dan Saddler
Rep. Paul Seaton
Rep. Bill Stoltze
Rep. Geran Tarr
Rep. Steve Thompson
Rep. Chris Tuck
Rep. Peggy Wilson
Rep. Tammy Wilson

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