State Judge Throws Out Lawsuit Accusing State Of Mismanaging Yukon-Kuskokwim Salmon Fisheries

With multiple lawsuits over alleged mismanaging of salmon fisheries in the state, a judge has dismissed with one legal complaint about salmon fisheries in the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers. Here’s the Alaska Beacon with more:

Judge Nathaniel Peters, an appointee of Gov. Bill Walker, said in a 16-page ruling on Thursday that plaintiff Eric Forrer failed “to identify any specific policy or action on the part of the Board (of Fisheries) or Commissioner (of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game) that could in any way be viewed as a violation of the sustained yield principle.”

That principle requires the state to manage its resources sustainably, and Forrer — represented by Juneau attorney Joe Geldhof — had argued that salmon declines in Western and Interior Alaska were evidence that the state was failing to meet its constitutional obligation.

Peters further concluded that Forrer, a Juneau resident, was asking the courts to direct the management of fisheries. 

“The Alaska Constitution has delegated the management of this State’s natural resources to the legislature, not the judiciary,” Peters said.

Reaction wasn’t super favorable: