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FAIRBANKS - Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has appointed Tanana Chiefs Conference subsistence resources director Mike Smith of Fairbanks to the state Board of Fisheries.
The 52-year-old Smith replaces Janet Woods as the only Alaska Native on the seven-person board that regulates all fisheries in Alaska. He is the only member on the board who resides north of the Alaska Range.
Smith, who grew up in the Yukon River village of Nulato and Fairbanks, has also been a subsistence and commercial fisherman on the Yukon.
He is well-versed in the Yukon River and other western Alaska fisheries, but Smith said there "will be a learning curve" in joining the board.
Woods resigned in March, less than a year after being appointed to the fish board by then-Gov. Sarah Palin.