Habitat Division to Return
to Department of Fish and Game
February 06, 2008
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announced Tuesday the Habitat Division
will be returning to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
The decision to return habitat permitting functions to the Department
of Fish and Game acknowledges that the responsibilities of Habitat
Division are better aligned with the overall mission and structure
of the Department of Fish and Game.
After an extensive review, Governor Palin, Natural Resources
Commissioner Tom Irwin and Fish and Game Commissioner Denby Lloyd
concluded that the Office of Habitat Management and Permitting
has done an outstanding job of fulfilling their statutory responsibilities
under the Department of Natural Resources.
However, the move is expected to improve communications and avoid
duplication of efforts while allowing Habitat Division to operate
in the same manner it has at DNR to encourage responsible development
and protect Alaska's resources.
"We are absolutely committed to the protection of wildlife
habitat," Governor Palin said. "But we are just as
committed to responsible development of our other resource industries
such as oil and gas, mining and timber, and we're going to make
sure that development occurs through strong oversight and cooperation
between the departments."
The Governor emphasized that both departments share in the State's
mission for responsible conservation and resource development
and recognize that balancing these two functions is an integral
part of their stewardship responsibilities.
"The department and I are committed to bringing these two
functions together and making them work," said Commissioner
Both DNR and ADF&G commissioners acknowledge that Alaska's
natural resources have not suffered because of the location of
the habitat function at DNR and the DNR and ADF&G are committed
to continuing and supporting the successful work that OHMP has
achieved while at DNR.
"I have nothing but praise for the professional staff and
the work that OHMP has accomplished at DNR," Commissioner
Irwin said. "I am committed to making this transfer successful
and we will work closely with the ADF&G to ensure that we
are working together to achieve resource development with protection
for Alaska's great environment."
In a statement released Tuesday
the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) said they applaud
Governor Palin for her prudent decision to move the Habitat Division
back to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) where
it rightfully belongs. Quoting the statment, "We agree with
her that the move back to ADF&G will enhance Alaskans' trust
that our state government is properly balancing resource development
with resource protection. The move will allow more effective
coordination among the expert biologists who are tasked with
safeguarding our fish, wildlife, and their habitat. SEACC joins
with many other concerned Alaskans to thank the Governor for
her decision that will result in better protection of our incredible
natural resources, especially our wild salmon so important to
The Governor will submit an Executive Order to the legislature
to return fish habitat permitting responsibilities to the Department
of Fish and Game. Detailed planning for the move will begin immediately
and movement of personnel and supervision will occur by July
Sources of News:
E-mail your news &
photos to email@example.com
Office of the Governor
Southeast Alaska Conservation
Publish A Letter in SitNews Read Letters/Opinions
Contact the Editor
Stories In The News