Tag Archives: Gov. Kate Brown

Editorial: Fishermen should look for smart ways to survive

As spring Chinook salmon congregate in the ocean around the mouth of the Columbia River in anticipation of their ancient migration to upriver spawning grounds, this spring also sees a swirling conglomeration of politics in Oregon and Washington state over how to allocate salmon among different interests. In some ways nothing new, in other respects the fight over salmon is rising to a higher pitch. Increasingly involving elected leaders, the outcome is becoming even less predictable. Also unclear is where a majority of Oregon and Washington state voters stand on the issue. The key point of recent news in the matter is the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission’s unanimous vote to curtail gillnet fish harvests, altering an earlier decision that was more favorable to commercial fishermen. Bullied into the decision by Gov. Kate Brown, the commission backed away from its earlier acknowledgment that the states have so far failed to keep a promise made by the Oregon Legislature to ensure the continuing economic viability of the commercial fleet. Alternative fishing methods have proven ineffective, alternative fishing grounds are in short supply, and money has been slow to arrive to aid transition away from the decades long gillnetting tradition. continue reading the op-ed here 16:20

Op-ed: Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission applauded for following the science

Serving on one of Oregon’s independent commissions is often a thankless job. We owe our thanks to Oregonians who do so. It’s not easy when the issues are complex and contentious. They don’t get any more complex or contentious than fish allocation on the Columbia River. That’s why I applaud the January decision of the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission and take exception to unfounded criticism from some politicians and special interests groups. Commissioners followed the science and Oregon law with respect to both the 2012 Kitzhaber Columbia River plan and their duties as members of an independent commission.,, This plan merely takes harvested fish away from commercial fishing families who fish for all consumers and gives harvest opportunities to sport fishermen who can get out on the Columbia to catch their own fish. read the op-ed here 08:59

Steelheaders call for Buckmaster’s removal from fish commission

In the latest development in the feud between sports anglers and commercial fishermen over the use of gillnets in the lower Columbia River, a sports angling group is petitioning the governor to remove a state fish and wildlife commissioner who voted with three others to continue to allow the practice in late January. The Association of Northwest Steelheaders submitted a petition last week signed by nearly 6,000 people calling on Gov. Kate Brown to remove Commissioner Bruce Buckmaster. Buckmaster, a Brown appointee, has served on the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission since 2015. Detractors argued at the time he was a lobbyist for the commercial gillnetting industry, a claim which Buckmaster denied. continue reading the article here 21:08

Governor Brown’s interference pits her against commercial fisherman

In an astoundingly ignorant and heavy-handed display of putting urban political correctness ahead of rural jobs, Gov. Kate Brown last week dictated that the citizen members of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission reverse their January decision that gave commercial fishermen a minimally fair share of the Columbia River’s salmon allocation. Addressing commissioners as if they are misbehaving children, Brown told Chairman Michael Finley the commission majority’s acknowledgment of reality is “not acceptable” and that “I expect” the commission to acquiesce to her interpretation of the facts by April 3. Fish and Wildlife Commission members are in an infinitely better position to judge the ineffectiveness of salmon policies than is the governor. Read the Op-ed here 17:03

Gov. Kate Brown puts political correctness above jobs

In an astoundingly ignorant and heavy-handed display of putting urban political correctness ahead of rural jobs, Gov. Kate Brown last week dictated that the citizen members of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission reverse their January decision that gave commercial fishermen a minimally fair share of the Columbia River’s salmon allocation. Addressing commissioners as if they are misbehaving children, Brown told Chairman Michael Finley the commission majority’s acknowledgment of reality is “not acceptable” and that “I expect” the commission to acquiesce to her interpretation of the facts by April 3. The commission agreed at a meeting on Friday in Tigard to take up the issue in March. Many of the most important facts are not in dispute: Former Gov. John Kitzhaber’s dictated abandonment of decades of carefully nuanced salmon policy has not worked. Kicking commercial fishermen off the Columbia’s main stem as of Dec. 31, 2016, as Kitzhaber’s plan called for, is manifestly unjust and will hurt the economy of Clatsop County and other fishing-dependent communities. Continue reading the Op-ed here 07:41

Sportfishing boat builder appointed to Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission

Oregon Fish and Wildlife CommissionJim Bittle of Central Point, owner of Willie Boats, Inc., in Medford, has been nominated by Gov. Kate Brown to replace Jason Atkinson of Jacksonville on the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. Atkinson has asked to be replaced. His term expires in 2019. Bittle, known for his business savvy, leadership and advocacy for fish and sportfishing, has owned Willie Boats, Inc., since the 2007 passing of its founder, Willie Illingworth. His appointment has already been applauded by sportfishing leaders as a balance to another Gov. Brown appointee last year, Bruce Buckmaster of Astoria, a long-time supporter of commercial fishing. Also up for reappointment are commissioners Greg Wolley of Portland and Laura Anderson of Newport. The Oregon Senate is scheduled to consider their confirmations in December. link 13:35

Ocean wind project making waves to get guaranteed funding

A committee appointed by Governor Kate Brown has begun work to figure out how to pay for what would be the first offshore wind project on the West Coast. The commercial fishing and processing industries also opposed the bill and continue to raise concerns about the project. “The project is now located directly in prime shrimp and rockfish fishing areas utilized by several small businesses in Charleston,” the coalition wrote. “This action displaces traditional fishermen.” The project could also take over some of the area used by a fishing fleet whose members are based in Newport, Astoria and Seattle. Read the rest here 17:24

Buckmaster, Atkinson to get full Senate vote for fish and wildlife commission

sportfishers oppose the appointment of astoria resident bruce buckmasterThe sportfishing industry raised an outcry after Gov. Kate Brown announced last month the appointment of Astoria resident Bruce Buckmaster to fill a seat on the commission that has been vacant for two years. Sportfishers complained Buckmaster had opposed a plan that allocates more fish on the Lower Columbia River to anglers, and they pointed out that none of the current commissioners or Brown’s appointees work in the sportfishing industry. The Senate Committee on Rules nonetheless voted unanimously to send Buckmaster,,, Read the rest here 10:26

Fish Grab – Sportfishers ask Gov. Kate Brown to rescind appointment of gill-net strategist

gillnetter, youngs bayA contingent of groups representing the Oregon sportfishing community have asked Gov. Kate Brown to rescind her appointment of a commercial gill-net industry lobbyist to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. The Coastal Conservation Association, Northwest Steelheaders, Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, Northwest Guides & Anglers Association and McKenzie River Guides have urged their members to contact state senators and ask them not to confirm Bruce Buckmaster’s 4-year appointment. Read the rest here 17:39

Contentious! Gill-net strategist appointed to fish and wildlife commission

Gov. Kate Brown set the hook on sport anglers this past week with her appointment of an Astoria gill-net industry strategist to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. Bruce Buckmaster’s  nomination, due for Senate confirmation in a hearing May 14, is already drawing rapid and rabid fire. A closed meeting scheduled for Wednesday in the Oregon State Library to introduce appointees to invited user groups was canceled late Friday by the governor’s office. Spokesmen for both the Oregon chapter of the Coastal Conservation  Association,,, Read the rest here 09:51