A good solution to a real problem

  • Saturday, February 14, 2015 3:57pm
  • Opinion

There’s a bill in the Legislature that Kenai Peninsula residents should keep an eye on, because it would address one of the biggest concerns with the manner in which the Board of Fisheries develops regulations.

House Bill 103 was introduced by Tammie Wilson, a Republican lawmaker representing Fairbanks and North Pole. The measure is short — just seven lines, 10 if you count the title — but would prevent the Board of Fisheries and Board of Game from enacting, amending or repealing regulations unless that action has been recommended by a Fish and Game advisory committee, a state agency or a person petitioning the boards.

What the bill would prohibit is board-generated proposals, which have, over the past several years, effectively silenced the voice of the people in what is frequently touted as a shining example of an open public process. In its last Upper Cook Inlet meeting in 2014, the fish board made drastic changes to commercial fishery regulations via board-generated proposals. Those proposals were not reviewed by local advisory committees or commented on by members of the public.

That’s not how the process is supposed to work. As Wilson said in a story by the Associated Press, the boards are intended as a way for the public to speak, not for the boards to make rules on their own.

The House Special Committee on Fisheries will sponsor a public hearing to discuss HB 103 at 10 a.m. on Thursday. Those wishing to offer testimony can do so at the Legislative Information Office on Main Street Loop in Kenai, where the hearing will be available via teleconference.

And if you think this bill sounds like a good idea, be sure to let your legislators know. Lawmakers have a great deal on their plates right now, but this bill appears to be a rational solution to a real problem and is worth the Legislature’s consideration.

More in Opinion

U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka and former President Donald Trump stand on stage during a July 2022 rally in Anchorage. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Tshibaka’s insincere defense of democracy

There are a lot of possible explanations why fewer votes were cast last November

Capitol
Opinion: Humanism and the billionaire class

Compromise is the right thing to do and they should do it.

tt
Opinion: The challenged truths of 3 elected representatives

“Politicians lying is nothing new.”

This photo shows the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: The wrong way to define demand

And as glaciers go, the Mendenhall is only a minor attraction.

Zachary Hamilton (Courtesy photo)
Borough mayoral candidate: ‘The best is yet to come’

Zachary Hamilton is running for Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor in the special election

Love, INC in Soldotna, Alaska, provides homelessness prevention and housing services to people on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: COVID relief funds help homeless children in Alaska

We need to sustain this kind of investment.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: Alaska must act now to capitalize on carbon markets

Alaska has vast forests and coastlines that can provide natural carbon management

1
Opinion: MLK Day clinics offered in the ‘spirit of service and advocacy for equality and social justice’

Attorneys across the state will be spending their holiday as “A Day On, Not a Day Off”

The M/V Tustumena comes into Homer after spending the day in Seldovia in 2010. (Homer News File)
Opinion: New federal funding could aid Alaska Marine Highway System

The evidence is clear that the AMHS is in grave danger of failing and moving into Alaska’s history books

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: I’ve seen the union difference

As a community we can show solidarity…

(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Sullivan’s irrelevance in defense of democracy

Two years ago this week, supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol…

People vote in polling booths at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: What’s on your 2023 schedule so far?

There is a Kenai Peninsula Borough Special Mayoral Election coming up in February