Gov. Bill Walker’s shakeup of the Alaska Board of Fisheries is off to a rough start.
Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is currently investigating Roland Maw — nominated by Walker to a seat on the board to replace former chair Karl Johnstone — over holding resident licenses in Montana while drawing the benefits of Alaska residency, including Permanent Fund Dividend and resident fish and game licenses.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game communications coordinator Candice Bressler said Tuesday the department will provide Alaska State Troopers with certified copies of Maw’s Alaska licensure. The Montana department has not contacted ADFG, but has confirmed it is cooperating with the Alaska State Troopers.
Alaska State Trooper information officer Megan Peters said the department cannot confirm the subject of an ongoing investigation until charges are filed. Alaska law prohibits anyone from collecting a PFD if they are also drawing residency benefits in another state.
When asked for records of Maw’s licensing history, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks assistant chief of enforcement Mike Korn said he could not provide any information, as the former executive director of the United Cook Inlet Drift Association is currently the principle in an investigation by that body.
Walker named Maw to the Alaska Board of Fisheries on Jan. 20, replacing Chairman Karl Johnstone, who resigned when Walker told him he wouldn’t be reappointed following public and gubernatorial scrutiny of the board’s actions at the ADFG commissioner nominee selection meeting on Jan. 14. At that meeting, board members declined to deem Maw qualified to interview for the job of ADFG commissioner.
Maw unexpectedly withdrew his name from consideration for the board on Feb. 20 following scrutiny from the media and Legislature, despite favorable public support and desirable credentials for Walker’s desired scientific fisheries management. Maw’s resignation came just before his confirmation hearing’s conclusion.