It happens too often that a letter to the editor is critical of some event or issue. So, it is such a pleasure to be able to write a message of thanks to Gov. Sarah Palin for her wise decision to move the Habitat Division and its permitting authority back to the Department of Fish and Game.
Unfortunately, in the very first months of former Gov. Frank Murkowski's administration, he insisted on breaking historical precedence by moving the Habitat Division from the Department of Fish and Game to the Department of Natural Resources.
This was over the objection of five previous Fish and Game commissioners, fishermen throughout the state of Alaska and conservation groups. The two departments had separate mandates with Fish and Game seeking to protect our fisheries resources and habitat and the Department of Natural Resources mandated to promote resource development. When Habitat was moved, this fragile balance that had worked for years was badly compromised.
As 30-year commercial fishermen, we would like to take the opportunity to thank Palin for restoring the balance and listening to Alaskans throughout the state.
Paula Terrel and Dick Hoffman