Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

I wanted to make you aware of an important public testimony opportunity this weekend. On Saturday at 1 p.m., the House Fisheries and Resource Committees will hold a joint hearing and take public testimony on the governor’s appointees to the Board of Fisheries (BOF). 

Up for confirmation this year are Märit Carlson-Van Dort, John Wood, Abe Williams, McKenzie Mitchell and John Jensen. 

Restoring balance to the BOF is the most critical issue facing commercial fisheries and perhaps Kodiak. There is only one coastal representative on the seven-member board, leaving commercial fisheries vastly underrepresented. 

The United Fishermen of Alaska voted unanimously to oppose Ms. Carlson-Van Dort, who is the current chair of the board. I am strongly opposed to her appointment as well. Simply put, she has shown during her time on the board that she does not listen to the public, make herself available to stakeholders or adhere to the high standards of integrity that we expect from board members.

It is vital that Kodiak is well represented during public testimony. We need to send a clear message to the Legislature, the board, and the governor that we will not stand for the lack of public process and corruption that has enveloped the Board of Fisheries.

The hearing begins at 1 p.m. with statements by the appointees, followed by committee questions and ending with statewide public testimony. 

You can watch the hearing live here: https://bit.ly/3uz3gF9.

To testify, please call 1-844-586-9085. You can also submit your comments in writing to hfsh@akleg.gov.

To clarify, committees are not able to hold confirmations. These hearings represent the only public forum for appointees to field questions from legislators and for everyday Alaskans to weigh in; let’s make it count!

Kodiak, and the entire state, deserve a better process and a more fairly balanced board. 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Louise Stutes 

Speaker of the House  

Proudly Serving Kodiak, Cordova, Yakutat, and Seldovia 

(907) 465-2487 

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