Several groups criticize Walker’s handling of fisheries

(NOAA photo)
(NOAA photo)

Fishermen, Alaska Native tribal members and clean water advocates are criticizing Gov. Bill Walker’s administration over its handling of fisheries and water issues.

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Chief among their criticisms is a bill Walker proposed to give the state Legislature deciding power over which waters in the state could be classified as outstanding natural resource waters and offered special protections.

Yakutat Tlingit Tribal Council member Raymond Sensemeier says funneling applications through the Legislature could politicize the process.

The group also criticized the governor’s 2015 decision to lift a moratorium on work on a major dam project and the state’s denial of certain water rights for a group fighting to stop coal mining development near a salmon stream in south-central Alaska.

A Walker spokeswoman said Walker’s office planned to respond to the group’s concerns.