Monday, April 17, 2006

Political strategist as fisheries manager?

"Its time to shine a bright light into the shady backrooms where the Bush Administration has been making politically motivated decisions about the management of the Klamath," Thompson said.

There will be virtually no commercial salmon fishing this year off the coast of Oregon and N. Calif.

"These politically motivated decisions are directly responsible for the poor condition of the Klamath and the near loss of this years salmon season."

This article from the Fort Bragg, CA newspaper points to the same thing folks are talking about in Alaska. Ie., the shady dealings of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council and their Washington D.C. cheerleaders, or vice versa. Radical actions by politicians, (turning off the water to the Klamath River, giving the cod and crab in Alaska to big business), does accomplish their political agenda, whatever that is. But it sure raises heck with the local economies.

The Klamath may have a little more water this year judging by the snow pack on the volcanic peak, Mt. McGloughlin, out my front window. And now it seems the Bush administration is softening it's stance on removing the private dams on Klamath River tributaries. Karl Rove to Bush: "We gotta fix that river I killed off a couple of years ago."

This may be why Senator Stevens is so against the Pebble mine out in sockeye country in Bristol Bay. What a legacy to leave otherwise. Ben to another schoolyard bully, "Yeah, my dad was the one that killed all the salmon in Bristol Bay by allowing those Canadian miners in."

You just don't know what can happen where fish is concerned. I'm sure Karl Rove would like to turn the water back on in 2002 if he could. How could he know that salmon need cool, parasite free water to live? He lives back East where they killed off the salmon a long time ago. Salmon grow in supermarkets, right? What political strategist gave all the fish and crab in the Bering Sea away to the Japanese?

This debacle in the Bering Sea might have gone mostly unnoticed up until now, the Year of the Blogger. I would rather call it the Year of the Crab to honor the 900 crab skippers and crew who lost their jobs this winter. But the last 12 months has really allowed straight-shooting bloggers to put the heat on junk legislation. I saw a blogger on Fox News the other night. Seems everyone is reading him on the immigration issue.

Momentarily, someone doing a Google search in Trondheim or New Bedford for "Abusive Transfer Pricing" or "Forced Co-operative Participation" will get results on North Korea, Cuba and the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council. Nobody else is going to invest a dime in Alaska fisheries as long as this kind of thing is going on.

You might wonder, "how can this happen in this day and age?" Ask the grumpy old men that are most of Alaska's congressional delegation. And while you're at it, call the Governor too. Send the message that we fought the Vietnam, Korean and Cold Wars to prevent Forced Co-operative Participation in the world, and now we find it right in our own country? Doesn't anyone think Vets read. A plain english message for the spin doctors: THIS IS BAD FOR REPUBLICANS. (To be fair, Democratic Alaska Governors went along with it too.) "But Officer, all that gold looked so shiny."