Controversial Board Of Fisheries Appointee Withdrawls From Consideration


Duncan Fields, a commercial fisherman whose appointment from Gov. Bill Walker to be added to the Alaska Board of Fisheries sparked plenty of controversy, has withdrawn his name from consideration, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

Gov. Bill Walker has reappointed retired Alaska Wildlife Trooper Alan Cain for another term on the board instead.

Walker’s nomination of Fields was met with opposition from Alaska sport-fishing groups who felt the nomination upset the power balance between the commercial and sport-fishing interests of the board.

Walker’s office said Fields withdrew his nomination so that Cain could serve a second term.

“There was definitely some pushback on Duncan, there’s no question about that,” Walker said in a meeting with the Daily News-Miner editorial board Thursday. “I don’t believe he would have been confirmed because it took it out of balance.”

Walker noted that while his original appointment took the board out of balance, the choice was not intentional.

“It’s a very sensitive appointment and I’m respectful of that,” Walker said.

The sport fishing community praised the withdrawal of Fields after speaking out regarding the original nomination last week.

“This outcome will restore Anchorage’s representation on the board and maintains the balance among commercial, sport, personal-use and subsistence interests on the board,” said Ricky Gease, executive director at Kenai River Sportfishing Association. “We applaud Alaska sporting groups, anglers and personal-use dip-netters across the state for reaching out to policymakers about fair and balanced representation on the Board of Fisheries.”