AVCP has joined up with TCC, Kawerak, and AFN to formally request a field hearing on the State of the Salmon in Alaska. This letter, dated September 8, 2021, was submitted to U.S. Congressman Don Young, and U.S. Representatives Lisa Murkowski and Daniel Sullivan with a copy sent to Mike Dunleavy, Governor, State of Alaska.
Dear Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, and Congressman Young:
On behalf of the Association of Village Council Presidents, Kawerak Inc., Tanana Chiefs Conference, and the Alaska Federation of Natives, we request that the Alaska Congressional Delegation hold a field hearing on the State of Salmon in Alaska.
Healthy and abundant salmon stocks are vital for the nutritional, cultural, and economic well-being of our tribal communities. Salmon are essential for food security and provide economic benefits to commercial and subsistence fishermen, fisheries and canneries employees, and their families in areas with the highest cost of living and unemployment rates in, not only the State of Alaska, but the entire Nation.
While tribal communities have experienced fisheries disasters and community economic hardship many times over the last thirty years, the declines in the last two years have been extreme. In 2020, the State of Alaska declared fisheries disasters for the Chignik, Kuskokwim River, Norton Sound, Prince William Sound, Southeast Alaska, Upper Cook Inlet, and Yukon River salmon fisheries.1 The 2021 season has been even more disastrous, with Chinook, summer chum, and fall chum salmon harvests on the Yukon River estimated at 0% of average.
Due to the unprecedented challenges to our subsistence way of life and the economic health of our communities, we respectfully request a meeting with the Alaska Congressional Delegation for share these challenges with you firsthand and make recommendations for protecting these resources for our communities and our future generations. Please send your reply to Vivian Korthuis, [email protected] or (907) 543.7304. We are happy to assist you in fulfilling this request in any way that we can. If you have questions or need further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Vivian Korthuis, Chief Executive Officer ASSOCIATION OF VILLAGE COUNCIL PRESIDENTS; PJ Simon, Jr., Chief/Chair TANANA CHIEFS CONFERENCE; Melanie Bahnke, President KAWERAK, INC.; Julie Kitka, President ALASKA FEDERATION OF NATIVES