Larry Edfelt of Juneau was appointed Thursday to fill the remainder of a vacated term on the Alaska Board of Fisheries, Gov. Sarah Palin's office announced. He replaces Rupe Andrews, another Juneau resident, who resigned last month.
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"We are pleased and I don't think there could be a better fit for Rupe Andrews' seat. Mr. Edfelt has an extensive biological background, he is highly thought of in the scientific area. He understands our fisheries well," said Bob Thorstenson, executive director of Southeast Alaska Seiners Association.
"If there were going to be someone who is like-minded (to Andrews) and would take a balanced view toward sport, commercial and sport, we couldn't have picked a better guy," he said.
Palin said it was Edfelt's knowledge of Alaska fisheries, his vision and his temperament that prompted her selection for the board, which makes decisions regarding how the state's fisheries resources are managed.
"I am honored that someone of Larry's stature and experience has agreed to come back and serve the state again on this important board," Palin said in a prepared statement.
Edfelt served on the board from 1992-97. In 1986, he retired from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, where he worked for 23 years.
During that time, he served in a variety of roles - as a fisheries biologist, deputy director of commercial fisheries and assistant executive director of the boards of Fisheries and Game.
He has also worked as a charter boat owner and operator.
The seven members of the board are appointed by the governor and subject to legislative confirmation.
The board is involved in setting seasons, bag limits, methods and means for subsistence hunting and fishing, commercial sport, guided sport and personal-use fisheries.
It also has a role in setting policy and direction for the management of the state's fishery resources. The board is charged with making allocative decisions, while the Department of Fish and Game is responsible for management based on those decisions.
Edfelt will participate as a voting member at the board's next meeting in Anchorage from March 9 to March 13.
"We thank Rupe for his service," said Mark Vinsel, executive director of United Fishermen of Alaska, a fishermen advocacy group.
Brittany Retherford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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