Group Files Amicus Brief in Support of Treadwell in Defending Against So-Called “Conservation” Lawsuit
Resources for All Alaskans has filed an amicus brief in support of the State of Alaska’s decision that the Set Netter Ban initiative cannot proceed to the August 2016 ballot. Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell announced that decision in January based on advice from the Department of Law that it was unconstitutional. The initiative sponsors are now suing the State in Superior Court.
“Alaska has a time-tested process for managing our resources. Even though some of us may not always agree with the results from that process, it should be open, public, understandable, and based in law,” said Jim Butler, president of Resources for All Alaskans. “Allocating resources by initiative is not only unconstitutional, but it is also bad public policy. The proposal to ban set netters is particularly destructive because it doesn’t address the real reasons for declining king salmon populations and would instantly destroy 500 small Alaska family businesses and hundreds of other jobs.”
Former Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman, an advisor to Resources for All Alaskans and himself a Cook Inlet set netter whose family has fished near Ninilchik for 100 years, said, “This is yet another of several misguided attempts in recent years to manage resources by initiative. As valuable as that process is, the writers of our constitution clearly understood the dangers in appropriating State resources that way. Rather than promoting a divisive initiative that masquerades as a conservation measure, the sponsors should be engaging in constructive solutions to protect our fishing families and our resources.”
Resources for All Alaskans is a growing statewide coalition that includes concerned citizens and organizations from fishing communities who oppose the misuse of ballot initiatives to improperly allocate or restrict our state’s vast natural resources.
The organization is composed of a 6-member board, including President Jim Butler, a set netter with 30+ years in commercial fisheries; Vice President John Garner, former Board of Fish member and current Executive Vice President of Trident Seafood; Jerry McCune, President of United Fishermen of Alaska and Cordova District Fishermen United; Dale Kelley, Juneau resident and 25-year Executive Director of Alaska Trollers Association; Duncan Fields, a Kodiak set netter and North Pacific Fishery Management Council member; and Robin Samuelson, a 50 year fisherman of Bristol Bay, former Board of Fish member and former member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
The group’s Advisory Council includes Loren Leman; Roy Huhndorf, former President of CIRI Native Corporation; Clem Tillion, former Alaska State Senator; Norm Van Vactor, President of Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation; Paul Dale, President of Snug Harbor Seafoods; Julianne Curry, Executive Director of United Fishermen of Alaska; Brian Lynch, Petersburg Vessel Association; the Alaska Trollers Association, Kenai Peninsula Fisherman’s Association, Alaska Salmon Alliance, and the Southeast Alaska Fisherman Association.
Together, the coalition represents well hundreds of millions in capital investment and thousands of Alaska jobs.