After reading the CVN article on the Haines Borough Assembly’s vote to request state Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins to remove a bill rescinding the Yukon reciprocal fishing license agreement, I wish to clarify the position of the Upper Lynn Canal Fish and Game Advisory Committee. In our discussion of the issue, it became apparent that there are two different problems: revenue shortfall and enforcement. (It was noted that it isn’t only Canadians that at times abuse bag limits and that more enforcement is needed to help cut back on such abuses.) The committee focused on revenue shortfall. The state loses a significant amount of money by offering in-state fishing licenses to Yukon residents.
In times of shrinking budgets to agencies like Fish and Game, the need to generate additional monies for natural resource management requires sacrifices. In light of this, the committee felt the request to rescind the reciprocal license agreement a reasonable action even though it will cost Yukon residents more and some local businesses lost revenues.
Rather than seeing this as a slap in the face of our Yukon neighbors, it should be viewed as asking our neighbors to understand the need for a sacrifice on their part to help assure sufficient funding for managing the resources that they have the pleasure of harvesting.