Begich Asks Parnell to Declare a Fisheries Disaster in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta

Following up on his fishery roundtable discussion in Bethel last week with local leaders and fishery managers, U.S. Sen. Begich has sent a letter to Gov. Sean Parnell, asking the Governor to declare a fisheries disaster in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

A state disaster declaration is required before federal assistance can be sought to help those impacted by the record low Chinook and other salmon runs this year.

On June 28, the Association of Village Council Presidents asked Sen. Begich, the entire Congressional delegation, state leaders, and the Obama Administration to pursue a disaster declaration for the region.

In the summer of 2009, the Alaska Congressional delegation requested a federal disaster declaration for the Yukon River Chinook salmon fishery after complete fishery failures in 2008 and 2009.

The federal disaster declaration was made in January 2010. Federal disaster aid can result in loans and grants for those impacted by such a disaster.

Today’s letter from Sen. Begich to Gov. Parnell is attached.