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Governor Announces Appointees to Board of Fish and Board of Game

Apr 1, 2019

Monday, April 1, 2019 (Wasilla, AK) – Governor Michael J. Dunleavy today announced his appointees to the Board of Fish and the Board of Game.

“The following individuals are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their respective fields, and I believe they will have Alaskan’s best interests in mind while serving on the Board of Fish and Board of Game,” said Governor Dunleavy.

Governor Dunleavy’s appointees to the Board of Fish include:

Mr. Israel Payton of Wasilla is a lifelong Alaskan. Raised in Skwentna, Mr. Payton lived a subsistence lifestyle harvesting fish and game. His years of work experience throughout Alaska includes guiding, North Slope operator, commercial pilot, airplane mechanic, deck hand, and property manager. Currently, Mr. Payton works for Airframes Alaska, Alaska’s largest manufacturer and seller of aviation parts. Mr. Payton enjoys hunting, fishing, and flying. He has participated in the Board of Fisheries & Game meetings for many years and is a past Advisory Committee member.

Ms. Marit Carlson-Van Dort, a born and raised Alaskan, spent over a decade salmon seining and forging a strong appreciation of Alaska’s fishery resources as a young woman. Ms. Carlson-Van Dort received her BS in Conservation Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduate work in Fisheries Science and Secondary Education. She has a background in both the private and public sectors, with experience in government affairs, environmental policy, permitting, development, and community outreach. Ms. Carlson-Van Dort currently serves as director of external affairs for Nana Regional Corporation.

Mr. Gerad Godfrey of Eagle River grew up commercial fishing in the Kodiak Island Fishery for twelve years. He spent fourteen years working on the North Slope and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in the Port of Valdez. Mr. Godfrey has worked for Afognak Native Corporation since 2009, recently becoming the Vice Chair on the Board of Directors. Previously, he was Governor Walker’s senior policy advisor on rural affairs and served for 17 years as the chairman of the Violent Crimes Compensation Board. Mr. Godfrey has held numerous other board seats including AFN, ANVCA, and the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Karl Johnstone of Anchorage is married with four children. He has been a resident of Alaska since 1967. Karl graduated with a BS in Production Management in 1964 and with Juris Doctor from the University of Arizona. He practiced law until 1979 when Governor Hammond appointed him to the Superior Court. He served as Presiding judge for the last four years until retiring in 1996. Karl previously served as member and chairman of the Board of Fisheries from 2008-2015.

Mr. Payton is currently on the Board of Fish and will continue to serve per his reappointment. Mr. Johnstone and Ms. Carlson-Van Dort will take their seats on the Board of Fish immediately, with Mr. Godfrey taking his seat on July 1, 2019.

Governor Dunleavy’s appointees to the Board of Game include:

Mr. Jerry Burnett grew up in Washington State and moved to Juneau, Alaska in 1981. Jerry grew up hunting and fishing with his father and five brothers. In 2017 he retired from the State of Alaska where he served as a director and deputy commissioner at the Department of Revenue. Jerry has long been involved with Fish and Game Management issues in Alaska having served on the boards of the Alaska Outdoor Council and Territorial Sportsmen. He and his wife own and operate Encounter Charters, a fishing and wildlife viewing business.

Mr. Al Barrette of Fairbanks is a big game guide, taxidermist, and small business owner. He honorably served in the US Army for nine years before he began his taxidermy career. He has owned and operated the Fairbanks Fur Tannery for almost 30 years. Mr. Barrette first became involved in the BOG process in 1995, was elected to the Fairbanks Fish and Game Advisory Committee in 2005, and currently serves as chairman of the Game and Trap subcommittee. In 2007 he became a class A big game guide.

Mr. Orville Huntington was born in Huslia, Alaska and received a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from University of Alaska, Fairbanks. From 2012-2019, he served as a member of the Board of Fish. As a public servant for the village of Huslia and the 43 villages of the Tanana Chiefs Conference region, Mr. Huntington’s primary responsibilities continue to be the preservation of Native subsistence hunting, fishing, gathering, and trapping opportunities and the cultural events that surround those beliefs.

Mr. Burnett took his seat on February 21, 2019. Mr. Barrette and Mr. Huntington will take their seats on the Board of Game on July 1, 2019.