January 17, 2013 | Volume 43, No.2

LCC right to recruit for board elections

Dave Werner’s letter correctly identified many issues that Lynn Canal Conservation (LCC) considers threatening to our fish, wildlife, and waters, including highways (road to Juneau), industrial-scale corporate logging, high-sulfide mineral deposits adjacent to anadramous waters (Windy Craggy, Constantine Mines), and hydro development at Chilkoot Lake.

He could have included spraying herbicides along the Chilkat River, or damage to spawning and rearing habitat from commercial jet boat tours. We base our opinions on both local knowledge and the best available science.

Placing science on equal footing with local knowledge has been lacking for 20 years on the Upper Lynn Canal Fish & Game Advisory Committee. For example, ADF&G biologist Anthony Crupi’s proposal to do a bear study in our area was overwhelmingly voted down. How does an advisory board adjust bag limits on a species without good data? Similarly, the board has typically viewed beaver dams only as impediments to fish passage, without acknowledging their high value as fish-rearing habitat.

It is entirely appropriate for a conservation group, or sportsman’s association, commercial fishing group, etc. to recommend that their members attend advisory board meetings and elect open-minded, knowledgeable candidates who welcome, rather than shun, information from all sources before making their recommendations to the boards of Fish and Game. It is unfortunate that Mr. Gilliam, one of the most open-minded members of the board, lost his seat during the election.

Eric Holle

Vice President, Lynn Canal Conservation