I, Tony Knowles, Governor of the State of Alaska, make the following findings:
1. On September 16, 1998, I declared a disaster exists in the communities of Stebbins, St. Michael, Minto, and Manley Hot Springs due to the catastrophically low salmon returns jeopardizing the health and safety of individuals in the disaster area. I subsequently amended the September 16, 1998, declaration to include the communities of False Pass, Nelson Lagoon, and Tyonek in the disaster area. Disaster relief to be provided will include payments from the state to vendors on behalf of qualified individuals for food, fuel, and essential utilities.
2. AS 16.43.160(b) requires that annual fees for the renewal of entry permits and interim-use permits shall be established by the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (Commission). 20 AAC 05.240 sets out a schedule of annual permit fees which range from $50 to $250 for Alaska residents.
3. I find that compliance with the provisions of the resident fee schedule in 20 AAC 05.240 would substantially impede action necessary to cope with the disaster declared on September 16, 1998. Because of this disaster, many residents living in the disaster area, who hold permits for salmon fisheries in the disaster area, cannot pay for food, fuel, and essential utilities. Due to the limited economic opportunities in the disaster area, many of these salmon permit holders will receive state disaster assistance grants. However, additional financial relief is necessary to more effectively cope with this disaster. The resident poverty level permit fee is only $15. A refund to these individuals of all but $15 of the amount of the disaster area salmon permit renewal fees paid for the 1998 fishing season would further assist the disaster relief effort.
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 1 of the Alaska Constitution and AS 26.23.020(g)(1), I, Tony Knowles, Governor of the State of Alaska, make the following order:
The provisions of 20 AAC 05.240 are suspended to the extent that they would preclude a reflund of all but $15 of the 1998 resident entry or interim-use permit annual renewal fees for salmon fisheries in the disaster area which have been paid as of today by permit holders who live in the disaster area and who have been determined eligible for state disaster grant assistance. The disaster area includes communities described in the September 16, 1998, declaration and the communities added to the disaster area by subsequent amendment to the declaration. The commission is directed to reflund these 1998 annual fees to these eligible individuals.
This order takes effect immediately.
Dated at Anchorage, Alaska, this 16 day of October, 1998.
By: S/S Tony Knowles