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Fish Board Appointee Faces Cook Inlet Vote Before Confirmation

By Bob TkaczUnlike recent Board of Fisheries appointees from Interior Alaska, Gov. Sean Parnell's first pick from the region, Michael E. Smith, has years of public policy experience with federal and international fishery management and state legislature. Whether he will apply his knowledge to state fisheries issues for more than a few months depends on a legislative confirmation vote he will face next year after passing through one of the toughest gauntlet in Alaska fish politics: a session on Cook Inlet salmon.Smith was named to the board on April 23 to replace Janet Woods, the Sarah Palin appointee who quit on March 26. Both are Fairbanks residents. Even in the compressed time frame at the end of this year's legislative session it appears that Parnell could easily have named Smith to the...