Local News

Subsistence board won’t release Angoon decision

Bert Adams of the Regional Advisory Committee, Pete Probasco of the subsistence management office and Federal Subsistence Board Chairman Tim Towarak during Wednesday's meeting.

The Federal Subsistence Board for Alaska will not release its position on a village Native corporation’s petition to change management of nearby state fisheries.

The board is considering what’s called an extraterritorial jurisdiction petition from Angoon’s Kootznoowoo Incorporated.

The corporation says state managers have allowed purse seiners to take too many sockeyes, lowering the village’s catch. It wants the federal government to claim jurisdiction over the western Admiralty Island fishery and give subsistence a higher priority.

The board began hearing about the issue Wednesday at its meeting in Juneau.

Peter Probasco is assistant regional director of the federal Office of Subsistence Management. He said the board will send its recommendation to Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar. But he said federal policy prohibits releasing it to the public.

“Secretary Salazar and Secretary Vilsack have retained the authority for where that regulation resides to themselves. And so because of that, and it hasn’t been delegated to the board, all the board can do is make a recommendation that’s confidential, which the secretary will consider along with whatever information he collects from the public, etc,” Probasco said

Probasco said the secretaries usually respond to such recommendations within four to six weeks. He said recommendations have been kept secret in other petition considerations.

Some at the meeting were unhappy the decision will be kept secret. But they said it was not unexpected. Julianne Curry is executive director of the Petersburg Vessel Owners Association.

“It’s definitely not ideal. I think it’s definitely something that we’d be looking forward to working on in the future. But for right here, right now, this is the process we have,” Curry said.

The subsistence board will make its decision during an executive session at the end of the public portion of its meeting Friday.

Before that, it will hear from its Southeast Regional Advisory Council. Members are also participating in this week’s meeting.

Recent News

Denied promotion, Leone thanks rescuers and moves on

Lt. Lance Leone, right, hugs Darryl Penn, a La Push resident who helped rescue him from a helicopter crash. Leone visited La Push at the fourth anniversary of the July 7, 2010 crash. (Photo: Ed Ronco/KPLU)
On July 7, 2014, KCAW News broadcast a special report from the Center for Investigative Reporting on the aftermath of the crash of Coast Guard helicopter 6017, and its impact on the culture of accountability in the Coast Guard. On the same day, the co-pilot and lone survivor, Lt. Lance Leone, revisited the crash site to talk with the Quileute Tribe fishermen who pulled him from the ocean. Former KCAW reporter Ed Ronco accompanied Leone on his return to La Push, Washington -- his last as an officer in the Coast Guard. more

Fiber optic cable suspected in communication outage

quake
Mother Nature rattled Northern Southeast this morning (7-25-14) with and magnitude 5.9 earthquake and several dozen aftershocks. The quake appeared to have damaged internet and cell service to thousands of Southeast residents. Service providers suspect damage to an underwater fiber-optic cable, but the cable's owner, Alaska Communications Systems, has not released any information. more