Names include one commercial fisherman, two from coastal communities
Governor Mike Dunleavy on Monday appointed three Alaskans to fill open seats on the state Board of Fisheries. One replaces a vacant seat; the two others will fill seats of members being vacated on July 1.
The appointees are:
Michael Heimbuch from Homer, a longtime commercial fisherman who has been active in statewide fishing issues for several decades. He previously served on the Alaska Board of Marine Pilots and the Homer City Council.
Heimbuch will join the board on April 15 to replace Indy Walton of Soldotna who resigned from the BOF in December after three months due to illness.
David Weitz from Tok is the current President and CEO of Three Bears Alaska, a chain of grocery and outdoor gear stores with nine outlets in Alaska and one in Butte, MT. His prior public service includes the Tok School Board and the Alaska Road Commission.
Thomas Carpenter of Cordova served in the US Coast Guard and has been a commercial fisherman and small business owner. He is Chairman of the Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation Board. Carpenter received the Excellence in Service award from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for his service on an advisory board in 2020.
“Carpenter has served for over 22 years on the Copper River/Prince William Sound Advisory Committee as its lead on wildlife issues. He was cited for keeping careful track of issues relevant to stakeholders in his community,” ADF&G’s announcement said at the time, reported Peggy Parker of SeafoodNews.com.
Assuming all of Dunleavy’s appointments are approved by the Alaska legislature, Carpenter and Weitz will be seated on July 1.
They replace Gerad Godfrey of Eagle River and Israel Payton of Wasilla.
The latest appointments mark the first time under Dunleavy’s tenure that the Fish Board will include more than one member from a coastal community – John Jensen of Petersburg.
It also balances the Board more evenly among commercial and sport fishing interests at three and four seats, respectively.
The Alaska Board of Fisheries oversees management of subsistence, commercial, sport and personal use fisheries in state waters, out to three miles.