Walton resigns, leaving BOF seat open

Veteran commercial harvester Indy Walton, who was appointed to the Alaska Board of Fisheries in September by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, has resigned from the board, leaving his seat on the seven-member board open for nominations.

Walton cited medical issues and his busy business schedule as reasons for his decision.

Nominations for his seat will continue to be accepted until the governor names his appointment, which must then be approved by the Legislature, said Jeff Turner, Dunleavy’s deputy director of communications.

Walton has fished commercially for nearly four decades, as a set netter and drift gillnetter, mostly in Bristol Bay. He also owns a fishing lodge on Lake Iliamna and is employed as a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments in Soldotna.

Walton applied for the seat in June, shortly after legislators rejected Abe Williams, the governor’s candidate for the post. Williams is the director of regional affairs for the Pebble Partnership, which is seeking to build and operate the copper, gold and molybdenum mine in Southwest Alaska.

Walton has voiced his opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine, on land abutting the Bristol Bay watershed. In an Anchorage Daily News op-ed this past May, Walton wrote that “the reality is that Pebble would threaten Bristol Bay’s existing multi-billion-dollar fishing economy and subsistence culture and is a project that the majority of Alaskans don’t want to see built. It is long past due for Pebble to acknowledge these hard truths and fold its hand.”