Parnell asks for Yukon, Kuskokwim disaster declaration

Low king salmon runs on the rivers spark governor's letter to the feds.

Associated PressJuly 15, 2012 

JUNEAU -- Gov. Sean Parnell is seeking a federal disaster declaration for the king salmon fisheries on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers.

In a letter to Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank on Saturday, Parnell noted the troubling low salmon runs.

He said the fisheries are critical to residents in the region. Many rely on money earned from even small commercial fisheries to make it through Alaska's winter.

Parnell said the Cook Inlet region is seeing low chinook salmon returns and may also qualify for an economic disaster declaration once the season ends.

A federal disaster declaration will not bring automatic assistance to the region. A federal appropriation is needed to provide money.

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