PUBLISHED: 8:06 PM on Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Appointments made to federal lands council, fishery panels
Gov. Sarah Palin, Senate President Lyda Green and Speaker of the House John Harris recently announced their appointments to the Citizen's Advisory Commission on Federal Areas.

The governor also announced her appointments to the Pacific Salmon Commission Northern Panel and the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission.

The Citizen's Advisory Commission on Federal Areas was created a year after the 1980 passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

The commission is responsible for identifying and reducing any potential negative impact on Alaska and its citizens from federal actions on any of the 239 million acres of federal land in the state.

"No other state holds as much federal land as Alaska, and no citizens have a greater stake in having their voices heard on issues related to federal lands than Alaskans," Palin said.

"The reconstitution of this council will be an important way for Alaskans to make their voices heard on federal decisions affecting our home, and I appreciate Representative Kelly's efforts to win this victory for Alaskans."

Under the terms of the reauthorizing law, the governor appoints six Alaskans to the commission, while the Speaker of the House and the Senate President may each appoint one legislator from their bodies, and two other Alaskans. Citizen appointees must represent the diversity of users and uses of federal land in Alaska.

Palin appointed Mark Fish of Anchorage, Ken Kreitzer of Juneau, Charlie Lean of Nome, Susan Smith of Chitina, Alex Tarnai of Tanana and Frank Woods of Dillingham to the commission.

Kreitzer is a state corrections officer at Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau who has worked as a police officer and airport safety officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician. He is a longtime Alaska outdoorsman.

Palin re-appointed Russell Thomas of Ketchikan and John Carle of Hydaburg to the Northern Panel of the Pacific Salmon Commission.

The Northern Panel provides technical and regulatory advice to the Pacific Salmon Commission, a U.S.-Canada treaty organization that manages salmon originating in Southeast Alaska/Northern British Columbia rivers.

The panel helps negotiate and implement treaty provisions, offers recommendations on fish management, and reviews technical data on each nation's annual fishing and salmon enhancement programs. Thomas was born and raised in Ketchikan and is currently manager of Clover Pass Resort. He also serves on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District Board of Education. He fills a seat designated for a member of the public with experience in salmon fisheries. Thomas was originally appointed to the panel in 2004.

Carle is a lifelong Alaskan and commercial fisherman who operates from Hydaburg, fishing for salmon, herring and shrimp. He was nominated as an alternate for a seat designated for a member of the public with experience in salmon fisheries. He was originally appointed as an alternate to the panel in 2005.

Palin reappointed Frank Homan of Juneau to the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, a quasi-judicial independent regulatory agency that promotes conservation and sustained yield management of fisheries, by regulating and controlling entry into commercial fisheries in the state.

Homan first served on the commission from 1991-1996, was reappointed in 2003 and is currently chairman of the three-person panel.

A 60-year Alaskan who grew up in Ketchikan working in his family's fish buying business, Homan has worked as director of industrial development for the Alaska Department of Economic Development, a legislative aide, founder and principal of a Juneau-based economic research firm, chairman of the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank, and executive director of the Southeast Conference.