Fish Radio

Boards of Fish and Game get feedback on budget cuts

December 17, 2015                     Budget cuts, Samaritan

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch —  Weigh in on cuts to the Fish and Game Boards’ budget. I’ll tell you more after this —

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The state Boards of Fish and Game got a helpful earful about ways to trim their half million dollar budget in the face of next year’s fiscal onslaught. More than a dozen Alaskans shared ideas during a daylong listening session last week in Anchorage – and the brainstorming is continuing online.

One message was loud and clear at the Anchorage meeting: don’t cut the public out of the fish and game rule making process.

Gary Stevens spoke for the Alaska Outdoor Council  –

 “We’re not at all interested in helping the department diminish the public’s ability to participate in the regulatory process by supporting any cuts to the board. We have a hard time understanding why any of the cuts need to come out of the statutorily protected process of regulating fish and game.” 

Another unpopular idea was extending beyond the current three year regional meeting cycles.

Gary Cline is from Dillingham.

“Don’t move the three-year cycle to five-year cycles. I do agree that it is too long. Mainly because the decisions made at these meetings have such a huge impact on our Alaskan residents.”

 Maintaining local board advisory committees also was supported.  That includes covering costs for more than $200,000 for 60 to 70 active committees. Reducing the number of Fish and Game staff that attends board meetings was suggested. And there’s been much talk   reducing the number of regulatory proposals the boards address – upwards of 400 to 500 each year, as it stands now, or somehow streamlining the process.

Gayla Hoseth of Dillingham.

“In regards to the proposal process, I think that individuals should still be able to submit proposals,” she said. “But I really do think that one voice is a strong voice. Because one voice could make a difference and a change and I don’t want it to where we don’t have that voice anymore.”

   The joint boards plan to meet again in January. Meanwhile, more feedback and ideas is encouraged at an online survey on the joint Boards of Fish and Game website. Find links at our website – www.alaskafishradio.com  Thanks to the assist from KDLG.  www.kdlg.org

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.

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