Alaska Legislature hears opposition to fisheries board pick

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The choice of a director of the disputed Pebble Mine project to sit on the Alaska Board of Fisheries has drawn opposition from fishermen and critics of the proposed mine.

Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy appointed Abe Williams to a three-year term on the board in April, The Anchorage Daily News reported Wednesday.

Alaska legislative committees are holding confirmation hearings on the selection after the process was recessed in the spring because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Williams serves as regional affairs director for mine developer Pebble Limited and is a longtime Bristol Bay commercial fisherman from King Salmon, in the region where the mine would be built.

The open-pit, precious metals mine would be about 200 miles (322 kilometres) southwest of Anchorage, straddling the salmon-producing headwaters of the Bristol Bay fishery.

Dunleavy and Williams have said his background in commercial fishing and leadership roles is an asset.

Williams, 49, said his fondness for fishing and his ability to work with people who do not always agree with his views would helpful in protecting fisheries statewide.

Critics said a Pebble Mine official cannot be trusted to protect the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.

The Senate Resources Committee heard from the public and Williams last week, along with the governor’s three other appointees to the seven-member board.

The other appointees include University of Alaska Fairbanks professor McKenzie Mitchell, former Dunleavy Senate aide John Wood and John Jensen, a reappointment from Petersburg.

Democratic state Rep. Geran Tarr, co-chair of the House Resources Committee, said lawmakers received more than 450 emails, nearly all of them opposed to Williams.

Many were form letters submitted after opponents of the mine encouraged people to contact the legislators, but the majority were from Alaskans, Tarr said.


Forty Foot Fred as he looked when rediscovered in 2016.
Kelowna’s Forty Foot Fred is gone for good
KELOWNA - A Kelowna landmark is now truly gone forever after the owner’s hopes of rebuilding him were dashed by his family. The forty-foot (12.2 metre) high plywood replica of Fred Flintstone stood at the entrance to Bedrock City in K
Fresh from the oven, you can't beat homemade scones.
This delicious BC blueberry scone recipe is quick enough to be ready for breakfast
Fresh B.C. blueberry season may be over but that doesn't mean that you can't enjoy these delicious little orbs all year long. Blueberries freeze incredibly well and can be available to grab and throw into baking whenever you are in the mo

Top News