AK gov names his picks for 2 NPFMC seats/Update on John Moller!

Appointees from Alaska and Washington will take their NPFMC seats in August.

by | March 18, 2024

Includes a former Dunleavy “trusted advisor” and CDQ leader; a sports rep – WA seat also to be named

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has named his choices for two ‘obligatory’ seats on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council which overseas the bulk of Alaska’s fisheries from three to 200 miles offshore.

For the commercial sector, the selection will be between current NPFMC member John Jensen who has served on the Council since 2001. Jensen also has been a member of the Alaska Board of Fisheries and is an advisory member to the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission.

The other Alaska candidate, John Moller, was Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s longtime rural affairs advisor who abruptly left the job with no explanation in 2021. Moller was a trusted advisor to Dunleavy who co-chaired his successful 2018 gubernatorial campaign. Before working for Dunleavy, Moller served as a rural affairs advisor to Sean Parnell, the previous Republican governor, then joined Parnell in a consulting business.

Moller has “managed fish processing plants in Adak and Atka and led a Western Alaska Community Development Quota organization,” according to the Governor’s letter to the Secretary of Commerce.

READ AN UPDATE ON MOLLER AT END —

The current Washington commercial sector seat now held by Anne Vanderhoeven also is up for reappointment.She also has worked for a CDQ group and is currently the Director of Government Affairs for the trawler group Arctic Storm Management Group. Vanderhoeven also is an active member of various trawl groups: At-Sea Processors Association, United Catcher Boats, Midwater Trawlers Cooperative, and High Seas Catcher Cooperative.

Industry insiders say there may be a shakeup regarding Vanderhoeven’s seat on the NPFMC.

For the obligatory Alaska recreational seat, Brian Ritchie of Homer has reportedly gotten a “star” from Gov. Dunleavy to replace Andy Mezirow who has served two terms on the NPFMC.

Council members will be seated in August.


Moller signs consulting contract with AIDEA

From Nat Herz at Northern Journal/March 19, 2024

Alaska’s state-owned economic development agency has retained four consultants aimed at boosting its standing in the rural regions where it’s proposed controversial projects — and the hires include two Alaska Native political figures who previously worked in Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office.

Rex Rock Jr., who left the governor’s office in 2022, and John Moller, who resigned as a policy advisor to Dunleavy in 2021, were hired by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, or AIDEA, in November, through a publicly advertised request for proposals

The one-year deal with Rock’s consulting firm pays $175 an hour and is expected to total $168,000, plus travel expenses, before it expires at the end of October, according to a copy of the contract obtained through a public records request. The contract with Moller’s business calls for him to be paid $283 an hour and no more than $204,000 over its one-year term.

Both contracts can be extended for up to three additional years.

The contracts, which say they’re for “community liaison and workforce development,” could provoke added scrutiny of AIDEA. The agency is already facing intense community opposition to some of the development projects it’s pushing.

Those include oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a mining access road that would cross a national park in Northwest Alaska and another access road to mineral deposits and other natural resources in the Susitna River watershed, west of Anchorage. 

READ MORE HERE —

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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.

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