WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 200, H.R. 4475 and S. 825, all legislation sponsored by Alaska Congressman Don Young.
“Alaska is considered the gold standard of fisheries management and this industry is crucial to our local economy,” Congressman Young stated. “My bill, H.R. 200, updates the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) to ensure regional fisheries are able to develop management plans that match needs of their areas which they know best.”
The House Natural Resources Committee marking up Congressman Young's bills.
“Reauthorizing the MSA will ensure a proper balance between the biological needs of fish stocks and the economic needs of fishermen and coastal communities,” said Congressman Young. “MSA has not been reauthorized since 2006, it is long past time for this Congress to act and support our nation’s fisheries. I had two other bills considered – the National Volcano Early Warning and Monitory System Act and Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Land Transfer Act. I am happy to say that both of these passed the committee with bipartisan support.”
To watch the full remarks, click here.
“America’s fisheries are governed by an outdated regulatory scheme and inflexible decrees imposed by distant bureaucrats. Fishermen and biologists on the ground should be partners in the formation of management plans, not powerless onlookers,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said. “This bill provides flexibility so we can better meet local needs, expand economic activity and conserve ecosystems. Rep. Young has delivered a win for local management and I look forward to moving this bill through the chambers in the coming year.”
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery and Conservation Management Act, or MSA, was first written by Congressman Don Young in 1976 and has been the primary law governing fisheries resources and activities in federal waters. Since its last reauthorization in 2006, federal regulations, improper science, and poor management decisions have hampered access to U.S. fisheries. H.R. 200, Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act”, will improve the management process by affording regional Councils the flexibility to manage stocks effectively and better tailor management plans to suit their regional needs.
Additionally, the Natural Resources Committee approved H.R. 4475 and S. 825, two bills which will also address regional concerns.
The United States is the third most active country for volcanic eruptions, after Indonesia and Japan. The National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System Act, H.R. 4475, will direct the United States Geological Survey to establish a volcano warning and monitoring system to protect U.S. citizens from avoidable harm.
S. 825, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Land Transfer Act of 2017 was introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) earlier this year and passed by the Senate in November. The legislation provides a land transfer of 19 acres of federal land in Sitka to the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), which will allow the SEARHC to expand healthcare delivery for Alaska Natives in the region. Congressman Young is the sponsor of the House companion bill, H.R. 1901.