Begich Asks Parnell To Declare Fishery Disaster
After visiting with local leaders and fishery managers in Bethel last week, U.S. Senator Mark Begich is asking Alaska Governor, Sean Parnell to declare a fisheries disaster in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Begich sent a letter to the Governor Monday. The Governor’s spokeswoman Sharon Leighow says with the season still open, it’s too soon to say whether Parnell will ask for a federal disaster declaration. On June 28, the Association of Village Council Presidents asked the Alaska Congressional delegation and the Obama administration to pursue the declaration. Fishermen on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers are seeing extremely low runs of Chinook salmon. The delegation was successful in obtaining a federal disaster declaration for the same issue in the summer of 2009. The governor must sign off on a state disaster declaration before local fishermen can obtain federal assistance.