How is it that a nominee to the Board of Fisheries can be the subject of outspoken opposition and fail to be confirmed one year, then be confirmed by without so much as a peep of opposition the next?

We’re thrilled to see Robert Ruffner of Soldotna confirmed to a seat on the Board of Fisheries. Ruffner, the former longtime executive director of the Kenai Watershed Forum, brings not just his extensive fish habitat experience to the board, but also an uncanny ability to bring groups with far different interests together to work toward a common goal. We’re hoping he can continue to do just that with the often contentious fish board process.

But why is it that half the Legislature thought he was the wrong person for the job last year, but had no objections this year? According to comments by some of those legislators, it all has to do with which seat he’ll be sitting in. Last year, the rationale goes, Ruffner was being appointed to a “sport fishing” seat, whereas this year, it’s a “commercial fishing” seat.

Read the full story

A collection of stories from guest authors.

Join the Conversation