Monday, October 12, 2009

Sixty-Six Days - and Still No Response

Back on August 7th, Gov. Parnell wrote to U.S. Commerce Secretary, Gary Locke, requesting:

[T]hat you declare a fishery disaster under Section 312(a) of the
Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) for Yukon River Chinook salmon fisheries. "MSA § 312(a) authorizes various forms of federal assistance through the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) when the Secretary of Commerce finds a commercial fishery failure due to a fishery resource disaster. I ask that you make such a determination for Yukon River Chinook salmon fisheries and enable those affected by this significant resource disaster to access federal assistance. I understand that the Association of Village Council Presidents and Alaska Federation of Natives have made similar requests and I fully support their efforts in this regard."

In the letter (reproduced below) the Governor explained the seriousness of the problem in detail. Concluding, the Governor noted:

I hope these provide the information you need to make a determination on this request. We have been providing run assessment updates and technical information to assist National Marine Fisheries Service Alaska Region in their analysis of the situation. We are committed to providing any additional
information you may require.

"I urge you to make a prompt and favorable determination on this disaster request

It has been 66 days since the Governor made the request. Nobody in the Governor's office has heard back, either with requests for more details, or with information on the progress of assessment of the request.
This is a serious issue. The Obama administration should realize that Winter in Alaska is coming any hour now. Here's Gov. Parnell's August 7th request:


alaskapi said...

Time to write the folks who represent us in DC...sigh.
FEMA was able to move rapidly and usefully to help Eagle this year...

There is a proposed rules change for fishery disaster declaration on the table currently- re- this MSA section and the IFA section
but it mostly sounds like a codification of the internal rules which have developed over time.
SOMEWHERE the current informal rules are available for viewing... can we find them to look at while the Secretary fools around on this?

Anonymous said...

Parnell is a joke. Has he never heard of a phone? Just another attempt to make the Government look bad and the Palin administration look good. It's despicable

Anonymous said...

Isn't Parnell the guy who said Sarah Palin was "the greatest gift Alaska ever gave to the lower 48" and that he planned to stay with Palins policies because the state was run so BRILLIANTLY under her administration. The same Sarah Palin that ran around bashing the the "Feds" for being socialists and trying to turn down any and all monies attached to the Feds!

So after just a few days in office he decides to have his secretary type up a letter, stamp his name on it and ask for federal money? Gee.. I wonder why he hasn't received a response