The pink salmon season in the Gulf of Alaska was recently declared a fishery disaster, and Representative Louise Stutes stood behind the declaration when local governments were writing to Governor Bill Walker to send it through to the federal government.
The declaration puts communities in line to receive relief funds, but congress needs to approve the granting process, which doesn’t always happen. But it’s likely, says Stutes.
And when that happens, she says they send the funds to NOAA, which disperses them among the affected regions.
“I don’t have too much to say about the process because I don’t know the whole process yet on what it’s gonna take for the stakeholders to actually have some dollars in their pocket. I guess I’m just a little bit disappointed that it took the secretary of commerce so long to make this determination, but I’m sure the presidential election played into it.”
Stutes is in the middle of the legislative session, which began January 17, and says she’ll soon know more about how people can apply for the relief funds.