Aug 7, 2009
Thank you Governor Parnell!!
In a letter today, Governor Sean Parnell asked Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to declare a fishery disaster in the Yukon River Chinook salmon fishery.
Residents of rural communities along the river rely heavily on income from fishing and have few alternate income sources. These residents struggle with a high cost of living and limited employment opportunities, and this year they are struggling to rebuild after devastating flooding. This combination of factors makes the loss of income from the commercial fishery critical. The estimated average household income in the area for 2008 was $31,866, a level approaching the federal poverty line even before adjusting for the high cost of living in the area. Commercial fishing is the only identified industry in the region that brings new money into the economy. Over 800 Alaskan permit holders are directly affected, along with crewmen, processing employees, and those who provide support services.
In his letter Governor Parnell acknowledges similar requests by the Association of Village Council Presidents and the Alaska Federation of Natives and offers his full support.
He told the Alaska Dispatch this on August 7:
“I trust Secretary Locke will recognize the severity of the situation on the Yukon and declare a fishery disaster,” Governor Parnell said. “I look forward to working with federal agencies and Alaska’s congressional delegation to secure disaster relief assistance for this region.”
This is not a task force or an advisory board or a committee!! This is a bold move to avoid another crisis. His request:
I ask that you make such a determination for Yukon River Chinook salmon fisheries and enable those affected by this significant resource disaster to access federal assistance.
Bravo Governor Parnell!!
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