Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's way past time for Nome fisheries enhancement to begin

 "The spirit of cooperation, leadership, open communications, respect, supportiveness and can do attitude"

Tim used this headline on his letter because it is a quote by Charles Faegerstrom of the local Native Corporation whose outfit helped squander millions of federal dollars and then stifled publication of results, or non-results. And refusing to cooperate with other local fishing leaders, dissing them under Color of Lignt, (see Wikipedia) wouldn't support any other efforts in fish enhancement, and of course got nothing accomplished. Wow! And where was the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game in their oversight of mucho dinero fisheries enhancement funds?

The reason Tim writes this today is that Fish and Game Deputy Commissioner Dave Bedford flew to Nome today to have a closed door session with all these buckaroo fish ranchers, prior to tomorrow's closed door session of more local buckaroos. And guess who is uninvited. You may have guessed by now: the author of the letters below and the one in my previous post, the one who should be running the show, the State sanctioned President of the Norton Sound area fisheries enhancement program. (See title of letter below again) 

This is the framework for the failed runs, discounting the trawl salmon bycatch by these same buckaroos through the local Community Development Quota Program - owned Bering Sea trawlers. The other little sleight of hand out of the bucharoo play-book is described in this article. Enjoy the enlightenment. 

 Isn't this a test of manhood, or womanhood, and leadership, that is, "study that you may be approved." Ask yourself, who do you think should be in fisheries enhancement leadership in this very needy situation in Western Alaska? There isn't another twenty years to waste doing the same old thing. Hear that Cora?

"The spirit of cooperation, leadership, open communications, respect, supportiveness and can do attitude"

 Tim Smith, President
Norton Sound/Bering Strait
Regional Aquaculture Association

"Does anybody remember the Norton Sound Salmon Research and Restoration Program? NSSRRP spent $5 million dollars of federal money administered by the State of Alaska during 2000-06 researching and restoring Norton Sound salmon. If you don’t remember NSSRRP, it is not too surprising since the results were never published.
On October 15, 1999, ADF&G met behind closed doors to talk about NSSRRP in the Sitnasuak Native Corporation building. In attendance, representing Kawerak, were Loretta Bullard, Roy Ashenfelter, Eileen Norbert, Don Stiles and Jacob Ahwinona; Representing Sitnasuak Native Corporation were SNC President Robbie Fagerstrom and Irene Anderson. ADF&G officials were Commissioner Frank Rue, Subsistence Division Director Mary Pete, Commercial Fisheries Division Director Doug Mecum, Research Supervisor Larry Buklis and biologists Charlie Lean and Peter Rob.
Except for the seven individuals listed above, all Norton Sound salmon users were locked out of this meeting that was not advertised and held in a privately owned building.
Prior to the meeting, I called SNC President Robbie Fagerstrom and asked if I could attend. He said no.
The outcome of this meeting was a plan to divide up the NSSRRP funds through a Steering Committee controlled by local special interest groups and ADF&G but closed to most Norton Sound stakeholders. About half the money was spent on counting fish and the other half was spent on research projects that apparently were not good enough for publication.
Very little of the Research and Restoration money was used for restoring salmon runs or increasing salmon harvesting opportunity and the runs continue to be unrestored. We have failed by a long shot to achieve the modest salmon harvest goals set in the Norton Sound/Bering Strait Regional Comprehensive Salmon Plan signed by Commissioner Rue in June 1996. We failed because we never seriously tried to increase Norton Sound salmon runs using methods that had any chance of success. There are no data showing that counting fish more accurately has significantly increased returns to Norton Sound rivers.
One thing we should learn from past failures of Norton Sound salmon restoration efforts is that: 1) closed door meetings between ADF&G officials and local special interest group representatives have not resulted in actions leading to significantly increased salmon harvests and; 2) excluding stakeholders from meetings between ADF&G officials and local special interest group representatives does not foster a spirit of cooperation, leadership, open communications, respect, supportiveness and can do attitude. What it does is create hard feelings for no reason.
George Santayana is often credited with saying, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” If he didn’t say that, he should have."
Tim Smith
PO Box 478
Nome, AK 99762
(907) 443-5352 phone
(815) 364-2565 eFax

Here's a recent letter TIm wrote in complete bafflement as to why a Department of the State of Alaska would flout State statutes so blatantly. Yes, Mr. Bedford, we are waiting.

"Dear Mr.  Bedford,
As you are aware, Norton Sound/Bering Strait
Regional Aquaculture Association is the registered
name of an Alaska nonprofit corporation in good

The department has never explained why Oscar Takak
should be able to call his organization by that
name without violating AS 10.35.040 or
alternatively why he is entitled to violate a
statute that prohibits Oscar from doing what you
say he is doing.

We would appreciate an explanation."

Tim Smith, President
Norton Sound/Bering Strait
Regional Aquaculture Association