A bill that would have revoked a reciprocal agreement allowing Yukoners to purchase Alaskan fishing licences at Alaska-resident rates is now “dead,” according to the state representative who sponsored it.
Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins of Sitka had initially put the bill forward in response to concerns from the Upper Lynn Canal Fish and Game Advisory committee and a few Haines residents. One letter from a resident accused visiting Yukon fishers of violating bag limits and leaving “no room for locals.”
But the Haines Convention and Visitors Bureau opposed the move, fearing its impact on summer tourism, and last week the Haines Borough Assembly voted unanimously to ask Kreiss-Tomkins to withdraw the bill.
“We have promoted Yukon-Alaska associations of all types for years and we stand firm in defence of the relationship, particularly as demonstrated by the reciprocal fishing licences agreement,” Haines Mayor
Stephanie Scott said in a statement announcing the representative’s change of heart. The walk-back is “great news for our region,” she said.