Alaska’s new acting director of the state’s Department of Fish and Game says that assuring the future of the state’s fisheries industry by attracting more young people to it will be one of his priorities. Doug Vincent-Lang, who is coming out of retirement to take the temporary post, said he has also put in his paperwork to be considered for the permanent job by the state’s Joint Boards of Fish and Game, which will consider all applicants and make its recommendations to Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
Vincent Lang, a veteran of more than three decades with ADF&G, has a biology degree from the University of Wisconsin -Green Bay and a master’s degree in biological oceanography from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
In the heated politics that preceded the general election in November, Vincent-Lang was one of several former state fisheries officials who came out against ballot measure one, which would have strengthened state regulations on permitting of resource development projects, including mining. He said he felt that the state already has a vibrant permitting system. Dunleavy also opposed the ballot measure, which failed in the general election.
Vincent-Lang retired after losing his ADF&G post during the administration of Gov. Bill Walker, but said he was now eager to come out of retirement as commissioner.
He said the state needs to be sure that youngsters growing up in Alaska understand the value of fishing and hunting to the state and that he hopes with the help of educators that many young people will learn much about opportunities and consider careers in fisheries. He also said he wants to find ways to protect small boat fisheries and processors.