Thursday, February 23, 2012

Board of Fish: Feb 24-Mar5, Ketchikan: SEAS Comments

11 February 2012

Alaska Board of Fisheries

c/o ADFG, Boards Support Div.

PO Box 115826

Juneau, AK 99811

Re: Southeast Finfish Board of Fisheries Meeting

Dear Board of Fisheries Members:

The Southeast Alaska Seiners Association (SEAS), founded in Ketchikan in 1968, represents the entire purse seine fleet in Southeast Alaska and maintains a dues paying membership of 110-125 seiners plus an additional 45-60 local Southeast business members. SEAS would like to submit the following comments on a suite of proposals for the 2012 cycle.

There are 3 areas we'd like to focus on:

  1. USAG-SEAS aggreement. In early January, SEAS and USAG (United SE Gillnetters) submitted an agreement to not subject the Board to proposals that the two groups had submitted that were untoward each other group. SEAS would like to offer an apology to the department staff time and any other inconvenience our withdrawn proposals might have caused. SEAS is pleased that we could arrive at a detente' or compromise with USAG and feel strongly that these proposals were largely allocative in nature and that it should not necessary to spend valuable Board time in light of the agreement between two traditional Board of Fish enemies. The SEAS proposals and USAG proposals are as follows:

SUPPORT WITHDRAWAL of Proposals 289, 290, ,291, 295, 296, 297, 298, 323, 324, 332, 333, 336.

SEAS supports withdrawal of these proposals as part of the SEAS -USAG agreement. These are all SEAS or USAG proposals and both groups have withdrawn their support from all of the above proposals.

  1. RPT Agreement and Proposals:

SEAS supports the RPT agreement going forth, with the proviso that the 6 year terms be reduced to 3 year terms for Deep Inlet and Anita Bay. SEAS also supports all other terms and references and proposals that the RPT references.

Support Proposals 334-335 with the proviso that the sunset is reduced to 3 years.

  1. Other proposals Supported/ Opposed

Support Proposal 341- as is, to stay troll-seine only in the SE Cove SHA. Gunnuk needs to be contributing to the region and is attempting to do so through this proposal

Support Proposal 340 to clean up the problems created by early season contraction of the Anita Bay King Salmon harvest area. This should have been taken out of cycle last year, in our opinion. The time is ripe for correcting this disastrous early season line. The siting of a release site for kings without an opportunity to harvest them for a month or so after they've arrived is just plain poor management practice.

Support Proposal 342 to allow NSRAA to advance 21st century versions of cost recovery that will enable ADFG management flexibility on years of decent northend returns. SEAS believes that prices to fishermen will increase under a fishery without cost recovery.

Support Proposal 288 to allow seiners to have the extra gear on board for emergency rip ups or gear replacement. All other gear groups in Alaska, from Trawlers, gillnetters, longliners, crab pot fishermen, shrimpers and trollers are able to carry spare gear so that they don't lose fishing time. Seiners couldn't deploy both nets, unlike other gear types who are allowed to carry spare gear, but need to be treated fairly. Often a seiner is fishing in Chatham and his spare net is sitting in a warehouse in Ketchikan.

Oppose Proposals 285 and 286 which seek to extend the 58 foot length limit. SEAS has consistently polled on this issue and there is less support for a change than there was last cycle and considerably less support than there was a decade ago. 70% of our members oppose these proposals at this time. While SEAS is sympathetic to changes to increase our fleet's opportunity as evidenced by our support of Proposal 288, we cannot support a change that a supermajority of the fleet opposes.

Thank you for consideration of our comments


Dan Castle, President, SEAS

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Politics and Chairman Thomas


As we mentioned in our last newsletter, 2012 will be the biggest political gamechanger since 2002 when FH Murkowski became Alaska's Governor in the middle of the biggest economic crisis our industry has ever faced. So that's a decade, straight up. While there is no Governor's race in 2012, there are some major landmark House and Senate races due to the census induced redistricting.

We'll highlight some of the changes here:

Petersburg joins Juneau, Skagway and Tenakee to form a new district. Petersburg used to be just Petersburg, then it was Petersburg-Wrangell, then lastly....Petersburg, Wrangell, Sitka and Ketchikan.

So this means that Peggy Wilson will be running against Kyle Johanson in the Republican Primary this August. And there will likely be a couple more folks in that primary who we’ll tell you about in the next newsletter if/when we get a chance to interview them.

While Sitka, Wrangell and Ketchikan become uncoupled from Petersburg they do pick up Angoon and a mishmash of communities in the Senate District.

So Senator Bert Stedman will run against Senator Albert Kookesh in November.

Haines joins Sitka, so Bill Thomas will have to run in a district that has both Sitka and Craig.

So Sitka and Craig have around 40% of all those Chatham Strait pink salmon being caught by their fishermen and processed in their community. Welcome to the world of seining, Mr. Chairman!! SEAS has supported Chairman Thomas since day one, even before USAG supported him. Chairman Thomas has passed 2 major bills for SEAS in the past as well. But there is a need for Chairman Thomas to settle into his role in the bigger picture of the state of Alaska position he is in and rely upon the ADFG management. More particularly in the ‘shared’ salmon resource of Southeast Alaska and particularly northern Southeast Alaska.

After all an average of 80% of all sockeye bound for the Juneau and Haines districts are harvested by gillnetters. If we were to bargain for a fair share we’d be looking at more like half. This is a pretty good indication of our harvest rate on most sockeye systems. With 80% of the harvest being conducted by the gillnet fleet after taking into consideration generally a 20-30% escapement on most years, the seine fleet is only harvesting only 20% of the commercial and subsistence total harvest and only around 15% of the total run sizes of any particular sockeye system on average. And while some smaller, lower Admiralty or upper or central Chatham systems may be a smaller percentage harvest, we could reasonably assume that our average harvest rate would be similar to the overall on the Chilkat, Chilkoot and Taku Rivers. This means that Chairman Thomas is in the unenviable position of pointing inward and pulling the trigger if he has issues with ADFG management.

So we are with him if he decides to stick with us. Hard to imagine with the numbers on our side and the district he is running in this year, that he will decide to oppose and continue to attack our longstanding historical fishery that is fully justified by the test fisheries, escapement counts and manner that it has been conducted since the resurgence of pink salmon in Chatham Strait in 1982, thirty years ago. Oh. And that’s another topic. There’s this myth amongst the Federal managers, notably Ben Van Allen, that the fishery is somehow a ‘new’ fishery in Chatham and that when you look at the 70’s, the fishery increased a bunch. Well, duh? We hardly fished from 1974-1981. The runs were rebuilding after the ‘unsustainable’ fishing patterns up through 1973. It wasn’t Icy Strait that was ever the problem. It was too much fishing time that was the problem. WE don’t fish 6 days a week in July anymore, do we? The fishery operates only on surplus pink salmon to escapement needs.

And to get even more off track here, look at the comments people mistakenly make about the sustainability of Chatham Strait seining. Here we are, after a fishery that began in 1878- albeit slowly in those northern districts- but fullswing by a century ago- and we have the biggest harvest and one of the most massive pink salmon escapements in 2011 EVER. HELLO MR> THOMAS. And the best of it was that over 20 million pounds of pink salmon were harvested by his current constituents of Klawock, Craig, Hydaburg, Kake, Metlakatla, and Hoonah. Over 50 million pounds were harvested by his new constituents, which include some of the old ones plus Sitka.

Congratulations Bill Thomas. If you indeed win the privilege to represent us seiners in Sitka, you are now the proud papa of a pretty massive group of pink salmon harvesters and processors.

There are a lot of other complex races that were created by the Republican controlled redistricting that we won't go into here but let's just say it will be a huge year to pay attention to the major changes that will be taking place amongst the state's political power brokers.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Board of Fish: Date-Feb 24 to March 5, Ketchikan

SEAS-USAG Agreement of December 2011 and the upcoming Feb 24-March 5 Board of Fisheries meeting in Ketchikans

SEAS and USAG agreed in Sitka this past December to pull all untoward proposals that each group had submitted to the Board of Fisheries for the 2012 meeting in Ketchikan this month. Although it is widely acknowledged that seiners are way out on the low end of our range and visa-versa with the gillnetters (2011 saw gillnetters at 52% and seiners at 28% in the most lopsided show ever), SEAS and USAG determined that it was in our best interests to maintain the 2009 Board of Fisheries agreeement terms of 1-1 fishing time in Anita Bay, Neets Bay and Deep Inlet.

The disaster at Hidden Falls and Deep Inlet made 2011 the poster child for how bad the allocation percentages can get during the short term. ( Indeed it was so bad -62,000 chums at HF- that it's also a poster child for why we need the buyback as well) SEAS is hopeful that there will be some better survival and thus harvest, at the usual and accustomed locations where seiners catch enhanced salmon. One of the misconceptions that the gillnet fleet has had over the years is that with fewer seiners on the water that we somehow catch less hatchery fish mixed in with our wild stock, mixed stock harvest. This is hogwash, of course, as seiners, as opposed to the other gear types in Southeast Alaska, harvest strictly based upon the availability of wild stocks. Never do we harvest in mixed stock areas based upon the availability of hatchery stocks. Never. There could be 15 million DIPAC and Hidden Falls chums marching into Icy Strait and upper Chatham and if there were not a robust pink run accompanying them we would not fish a single set.

The SEAS proposals were very meritorious and we really had to trust nature and chance here with our enhanced allocation plan but SEAS believes that a long-term viable enhanced allocation plan (as we've had since 1994) needs to be a guideline more than an absolute set of numerical changes and demands. We will, however, be back in 2015 with very similar proposals if the current trends don't change a bit.

One other late catch that we didn't even know we were negotiating against is that USAG did indeed have a proposal to close Frederick Sound to salmon purse seining from Fanshaw to Pt League.

That, along with all the 7 other 'hate and spite' proposals put forth by USAG, were withdrawn as part of the SEAS-USAG agreement.


The Board of Fish will have a couple seine related proposals that deserve our attention however.

1. 58 foot limit. While the proponents of the change of 58 foot limit to allow longer vessels to participate in the S01A fishery, the fleet is still against any change by a ratio of 65-35 in our latest poll. While the additional permit requirement makes it more palatable, the time for changing the 58 foot limit has yet to arrive. The arguments are good for making the change. Trollers and gillnetters have no limit. They could have 1000 foot boats if they wanted. The gear requirements wouldn't change, we'd still have the same 450 deep by 250 fathom nets. Potentially more processing on board, etc etc. But the bottom line is that the fleet is against it.

2. 2 nets on board. SEAS is in favor of this proposal. There are darned few boats in the fleet that have the potential to pack 2 nets, but, again, gillnetters and trollers have extra gear. If a troller loses gear, he just puts new stuff on. Same with gillnet shackles. But if a seiner trashes a net at Cape Chacon, he has to go back to Petersburg or Ketchikan or whereever and get a new net or fix up his old net prior to getting back out to the grounds. This has not been the subject of major polling so if you have any qualms about this proposal, please call in at 907-723-8267, text at that number or email or go to our website and comment. This is not a unanimous position by any stretch of the imagination so please be sure to weigh in on this one.

3. Hidden Falls new management plan with assessment in lieu of cost recovery. Recall that back in 2006, SEAS passed the legislation that enabled the NSRAA board to move on this one. The final legislation mandated that a majority (51%) of a hatchery board of directors could vote to move ahead under the legislation SEAS produced in 2005-06. This was the most commented on and garnished the most testimony of any issue SEAS members have weighed in on. And SEAS members and non-SEAS members were 100% united in their support. There was no opposition by seiners.

4. Establishing a SHA at SE Cove for seine and troll. Gunnuk is stepping up to attempt to be a part of the allocation program and support the fleet with it's production. There will be gillnetters who want a piece of the action but this has historically be seine-troll only and should stay that way.

The SEAS board will be meeting, TBD, during the week of the Board of Fish meeting Feb 24-March 5.

All SEAS members are welcome to attend. Call for more information if you are attending.



Saturday, February 11, 2012

SEAS February Newsletter Article- Fleet Consolidation- Take #2

Fleet Consolidation Take #2- March 22nd Referendum 

 NMFS will conduct the referendum by mailing a ballot to all permit holders on March 22nd. This round of bidding produced 64 permits at an average price of $205,000. The high permit in the reverse auction was $240,000 and the low was $175,000. After looking at the list of permit holders and the prices they're selling for at, it is apparent that there is less a proportion of SRA, SEAS and PSVOA board members or past board members than the rest of the fleet. Certainly this fleet consolidation program was vetted well enough and for long enough- over a decade now- so that it would make some sense that we'd need to buy permits from everyone, board members and non-board members.

 Indeed if one were to spend a few hours on you'd find each and every newsletter on the subject since 2004. Since 2004 there have been around two dozen articles on the fleet consolidation program. And while it has changed a bit those changes have been reflected and updated as soon as possible. Particularly telling is the date-certain articles on the buyback process in the spring. We were trying to get the up to the moment information to the fleet with the first round. The ED was hunting and vacationing most of the fall so neither our website, nor nor the newsletters (except for the October newsletter) were up to date until fairly recently

. If you did not have an opportunity to sell your permit in this round or if you know of someone who either forgot or didn't feel they had adequate notification, please let them know that we have around $10 million left for purchasing future permits. This, of course, would depend upon the will of the remaining permit holders to take on more debt for the program. Our note is for $23 million and over the first few yearss we'll pay 3% whether we borrow one dollar or the whole enchilada so the CW is that we would use the additional $10 million to get down to the SRA's goal of 260 permits left in the fishery.  Of course, if we don't borrow more we will be paying less than 3% after the NMFS review that we would undoubtedly request.  And with 260, we believe that'll be the new 225, as there are constantly more double skippers on boats (relief situations) as well as False Pass, Cali, and PWS boats that are more and more cycling through. This will mean that a couple dozen, or possibly up to 3 dozen, permits will always be sidelined. Now, granted, we'd have to get the next 45 permits for less than we got the last ones, but at these prices, if we could pick up 35-37, that'd put us at 268-270 total permits, which after doubles and outside fishing, should provide for around 230-235 permits operating. This would be 12% less permits less than we had in 2011. Worth paying 3% for? You decide.

 Certainly there are those of you who have differences with the program and we're sorry but, like the 58 foot limit and other split issues, we have to go with the supermajority. Issues like whether we belong in Chatham Strait, whether Hidden Falls should remain seine only, whether we deserve more time at Neets Bay as well as first start in all fishing seasons there......these are questions that unite us nearly 100%-- …. Without reiterating the reasoning behind the buyback, let's just say that each season we've failed in successfully implementing the program, there's been another great reason to keep working on it. 2006 showed us what a flop would look like, even though there were 30-some boats less than last year. The 42 million harvest in 2007 was the first seriously major decline in the awesome 99-05 odd cycle that had averaged 63 million pinks per odd year. (03 and 05 were not relative total harvest numbers as our trip limits kept us from harvesting at least 10 million pinks each year). 2008 was another slow burner. 2009 was worse than the 2007 season. Then some rebounds in both 2010 and 2011, with 2011 being the most exciting perhaps of the turnarounds, producing 56 million pinks, 20 plus million more than the parent year of 2009.

 But the recent years only add to the long term logic of having the fleet consolidation program. While we won't belabor the long track record of reasoning behind this and the long list of legislation and roadblocks cleared in order to proceed, there are a few points that we want to leave you with as we all await the NMFS conducted vote.

 1. 3%. The 3% is taken off of your fish ticket just like the 3% aquaculture assessment. It's an assessment that will take more money from those who catch the most fish. So it's really a fair assessment...... it's not like the IRS code.....there's no writeoffs for the top 1% here. They pay way more than the average. And the entire operation pays, not just a skipper or boat owner. Anyone who gets paid by percentage pays the 3%.

2. The fleet was supposed to be set at around 270 back in 1974. But the Boldt decision caused a major increase in the fleet from disenfranchised Puget Sound boats. So we ended up with 419 permits. After the first round we ended up at 379 permits. And what a deal that looks like now. We bought 39 permits ( the last one got lost or something) at $2.88 million with grant funds at an average of $82,000-- the highest permit was $97,500.

 3. With the average permit price on this round of $205,000 that's the equivalent of around 6000 lbs of SE 2-C Halibut Quota. What could you gross with that quota? $40,000-45,000.

 4. SEAS wants a vibrant fleet. We're not out to put the next guy out of business. It's a total voluntary program from the permit selling side and the guys who are getting out would have a hard time complaining that we're not treating them well enough for getting their permit out of the fishery. A young guy who wants into the fishery can get a loan through Division of Investments. Sure, ten years ago permits were cheap but you couldn't get a job with one. We won't go through the list of names here and now but let's just say many fishermen who are much more capable than this writer were let go in the big crisis of 2001-2003.

5. Unanimous. The SEAS board rarely is unanimous on anything. 4 guys from Ketchikan, 1 from Sitka, 3 from Petersburg, and 5 from the Puget Sound basin are currently on the SEAS board and are all 100% in favor of this fleet consolidation program.

 6. The state of Alaska has expectations on this as they are our partner. They would not have given us the $2.88 million, of which Cora Crome (at the time) was in charge of had they thought we'd not follow through on the fleet consolidation effort on our part. If you are against this program at this time, where were you when your fleet accepted the near- $3 million to fund the first round?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

March 22nd For the Fleet Consolidation Vote

Gentlemen, start your engines.

The NMFS Financial Services Division will have a public notice on the list and the eligible voter list on March 1.

Then on March 22nd, NMFS will send out the referendum (voting) information to all S01A permit holders.

More information to follow.


Monday, February 06, 2012


We've had countless renditions of why Chatham Strait management of mixed stock pink salmon management works so well.  For starters the majority of the timing of our pink salmon management in Chatham does not coincide with the sockeye migration and for that matter, Hidden Falls chums (20 miles away from the mouth of Kootznahoo Inlet). Indeed when you read the excerpts from the Petition--if you want a copy please give me a call or  email--there is a request to shut down Hidden Falls hatchery permanently. Interestingly enough, with nearly 3 decades of data, the average exploitation rate of Hidden Falls chums is less than 10% in the mixed stock corridors of Chatham Strait.  Many years it is as low as 3-4%. So since the proximity of the hatchery is so close as to be so disconcerting to Kootznoowoo that they need to shut it down, then we can assume that the harvest rates are not so different from those the purse seine fleet would have on Kanalku sockeye.  Indeed the last day that a Kookesh has ever subsistence fished at Kanalku is July 25.  The peak is generally around the 4th of July through around the 17th.  Sound familiar for you Hidden Falls fishermen?  Same peak both locations, really.

 The purse seine fleet averages its first fishing day on the Angoon shoreline nearly at the identical time that the last subsistence user has finished their fishery in front of Kanalku Falls.  (For the uninitiated, Kanalku Falls is--on years of large rainfalls-- a 16 foot jump that only around 30% of sockeye make it to spawn at Kanalku Lake---Of course there are years where more get a shot due to lower water tables and a shorter jump because the official weir counts in 2009 and 2010 were 2600 sockeyes and 2900 sockeyes respectively.  The Chief SE Alaska Subsistence Forest Service Biologist told SEAS in 2006 that if the lake couldn't handle more than a consistent 1500 with a high end of 2500.  So by even their non-biological assumption-based escapement modelling, we're way in the money here.  In 2011 we were back down to around 700, with subsistence harvest reporting of around 250.  Subsistence harvest reports indicated around 600 average harvest during the large years.

Back to Chatham Management.  Even in the more abundant northend pink salmon cycles--there is rarely fishing in the main Chatham corridor to any major extent until the 3rd week of July.  In 2011, as in some other alltime high northend early pink salmon runs, there was a bit earlier of a start.  In 2008 and 2010 there was no Chatham fishing save for the hatchery and the test fishery at Augusta.  It is expected in 2012 that this will also be the case.

So there was, long before this issue arose, a propensity for the state to hold back commercial pink salmon fisheries to allow for safe passage of sockeye salmon runs throughout Chatham Strait.  Throughout the 1980s and 1990s there had been what is now a 3 decades long resurgence of pink salmon and all salmon throughout the northern areas of Southeastern Alaska, this 'propensity' developed into a basic unwritten management plan.  Early July is off-season for the main Chatham Strait areas, save for the far north early pinks migrating through Hawk Inlet on years of high Lynn Canal and Stephens Passage pink salmon abundance.  The ADFG also mandated closure lines (not voluntary closures but real ones) from Parker Pt. to Pt Samuel along the Angoon shoreline.  Basket Bay, Sitkoh Bay and Lake Eva have similar extreme closure lines for miles just as the 9 mile closure of Chatham Strait for Angoon.

So our fishery is managed so that we begin fishing in earnest after 90-95% of the sockeye migration has occurred in Chatham Strait. Even when we do begin, it is often with a single day on a small area.  During July, in the area from Hoonah to Angoon, Chatham Strait is closed to seining around 80% of the time and area on a good year and 97-100% closed on a bad pink salmon year.

Historical Background of the KOOTZN00WOO PETITION:
After just 2 short cycles of working within the Board of Fisheries process and failing to find a single voice or advocate that the Kootzawoo Corporation could lean on with the twisted  scientific evidence  (or obviously the lack of it) that was packed and presented at the 2006 Board of Fisheries (in 2009 he was MIA for some reason) by US Forest Service Marine Biologist Ben Van Allen (remember him, he's the guy who supported large scale commercial purse seining at District 104, with 70% sockeye originating in British Columbia, and believed that abundance based management was the way to go)  these guys decided to go back to the Federal route, attempting to Petition the Federal Government and try to assert their sovereign authority.

On May 10, 2010 Kootznoowoo, Inc.  sent a letter to The Honorable Tom Vilsack, Secretary of USDA, Petitioning for ownership of submerged lands in order to get hydro lines to their potential Ruth Lake project and to give them the Extra-Territorial-Jurisdiction to shut down the Chatham Strait Fishery.  The addendum shows a map which Angoon asserts tribal territory from Red Bluff Bay to Gardner in the south to Hawk Inlet and Whitestone harbor in the north then all of Tenakee and Peril Strait.

In April, I met with the petitioners Executive Director and explained how the state management worked.   He replied that he was sorry but this letter had already gone out and .... gee whiz....

On June 15, Kootznawoo sent a supplement as requested by Secretary Vilsack.

Here are the choicest excerpts.  IN large bold are the excerpts.  

The Italics are our comments.

Timeline  1880's, SE AK was exploited by Spain, Great Britain, Russia and the US..... Geez,  if they can't get that one right, how can they possibly be talking about salmon numbers and particular months.

history has shown that intensive fishing on passing stocks in Icy and Chatham Straits in not sustainable. 

increased enforcement has made it difficult for Angoon residents to meet their subsistence needs

it can be assumed that there is a broad overlap when commercial purse seining occurs and where and when the sockeye migrate

The following describes possible measures which may be considered as a part of the advice and recommendations to the Secretary:

Close all of fishing districts in Chatham Strait, Icy Strait and Peril Strait during the height of the sockeye salmon passage .... in June, July and through the first two weeks of August.

Establish a plan and date for closure and shut down of the Hidden Falls Hatchery.

maintain that Alaska 'seize and desist' in enforcement of subsistence law on Admiralty Island monument area.

And here is what they put together for sockeye escapement
Kanalku Escapement
2001  229 sockeyes
2003  276 sockeyes
2007 461 ///////
They forgot to mention that in 2009 and 2010 there were escapements of 2600 and 2900 after subsistence harvests of 600 or so.  And that every other year they skipped had over 1000, save for the weak cycle of 99-03-07-11, which, while building, put us at only 700 or so in 2011.  If one looks at the harvest trends you can see that there was heavy harvesting in the 1990's for subsistence.  The numbers for the late 90's get up to 1600 reported subsistence harvest at Kanalku.  As one resident told me, we just didn't leave enough for the future, but they'll come back and we'll learn.

Kanalku is a system that, while small compared to other sockeye systems, produces up to several thousand sockeye on a year with good conditions and when 70% of the sockeye don't die at the falls.  But it's always been the case, contrary to testimony of the hardships of getting across Chatham to secure sockeyes at Kook Lake and Sitkoh Bay, that Angoon residents have ventured far and wide to secure their subsistence.  

The major aboriginal Angoon camps were close to home but more reliant on chums and silvers from Chaik and Hood Bays than they really were strictly sockeyes.  Sockeyes could only be put up for a few weeks, while cohoes stay in the system from late July through September and into October at times.  Even so, the maps and allegations of traditional Angoon subsistence certainly and obviously shows that there was never a Kanalku-only strategy of food security.  Kook Lake in Basket Bay was one of the most important sites outside Kanalku, as well as Sitkoh, but it is obvious as well by the maps in the petition that they traveled all the way down to Red Bluff, Falls Lake, Hoonah Sound, and 
Tenakee.  While these appear to be exaggerations and may be disputed by the Kake and Hoonah locals, it is apparent that the seamanship and ability  for Angoon residents to cross Chatham existed long before the 1990's.

Anyways.  Just some pieces here.  Quite an amazingly misguided piece of work.
One of the most amazing things about the Kootznawoo, Inc's lack of confidence in the State of Alaska is that the Chairman's brother is none other than Senator Albert Kookesh, who has served in the Alaska State Legislature for a decade and a half.  A village of 400 people and their guy is state Senator ( recall that Petersburg has NEVER had a state Senator, ever), and they think the state system is unfair.  Well, who could it be fairer for?  And how much of the timing of this has to do with the fact that the Senator got caught violating subsistence laws??


Forgot to mention that the corporation is asking the Federal Government for 10 years of mitigation valued at $24 million or so and another $26 or so million for the next 10 years.