Letters
Recently, I noticed the debate over funding the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council. Proponents maintain we need to market the Kenai Peninsula by directing funding to the KPTMC by our tax dollars to insure a healthy tourism economy. 052411 LETTERS 1 Peninsula Clarion Recently, I noticed the debate over funding the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council. Proponents maintain we need to market the Kenai Peninsula by directing funding to the KPTMC by our tax dollars to insure a healthy tourism economy.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Story last updated at 5/24/2011 - 12:45 pm

Do we really want more tourist dollars?



Recently, I noticed the debate over funding the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council. Proponents maintain we need to market the Kenai Peninsula by directing funding to the KPTMC by our tax dollars to insure a healthy tourism economy.

First, our state sponsored tourism study indicated about 70 percent of the tourists visiting the Kenai Peninsula were interested in sport fishing here. Another state study indicated one sport-caught king salmon was worth about $800 to $1,000 to our local economy. Secondly, our king and silver salmon fisheries have been seriously depleted due to mismanagement; these fisheries use to be healthy and greatly fueled the local economy. Thirdly, we must demand the restoration of these fisheries if we really desire to revive our tourism economy. If we have the healthy king and silver salmon runs like we experienced in the late 1970s and early 1980s we will have no shortage of tourist dollars.

What caused the depletion of these runs of salmon? As a professional fishing guide for over 30 years on the Kenai River I have monitored the mismanagement of our king and silver salmon fisheries. We have not had proper management of our commercial fisheries in the saltwater -- we have allowed overharvest. Now the question is when will we admit the problem, and when will we demand adequate king and silver salmon escapement numbers into the Kenai and Kasilof rivers?

J.K. "Kenai Jim" Johnson, Soldotna





THE REC GUIDE

WINTER ACTIVITIES

If you think the Kenai Peninsula is beautiful in the summer, you should see it when cloaked under a thick blanket of white with the aurora borealis rippling through the celestial canopy above.

BERRIES OF THE KENAI PENINSULA

Whether intentionally seeking berries for jellies and jams or just out for a casual hike, residents and visitors will find the 50-some varieties of wild berries in Alaska hard to resist.

COMMON SENSE SURVIVAL

There’s adventure and beauty in the wild country, but also an element of risk.



2010 Peninsula Clarion award winners

Best Education Reporting
1st Place – Dante Petri, “All under one roof

Suzan Nightingale Award: Best Columnist

2nd Place – Will Morrow, “Voices of the Clarion”

Best Sustained Coverage

3rd Place – Dante Petri, “Mt. Redoubt Eruption”

Best News Photo

3rd Place – M. Scott Moon, “Bear Rescue

Best Photo Portrait
3rd Place – M. Scott Moon, “Ear Gauger

Best Audio Slideshow
2nd Place – M. Scott Moon, “Learning to ski

Best Use of Story and Photos by a Journalist
2nd Place – Joseph Robertia, “Dipnet disaster averted

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