Letter: Support Ballot Measure 1

Hundreds of commercial fishermen have weighed in supporting the Alaska Board of Fisheries request that the state legislature update Alaska’s salmon habitat permitting law.

Ballot Measure 1 is a pro-salmon law that will benefit all user groups.

There are essentially four components to the update to Alaska law: First it will establish clear, enforceable standards for development in and around salmon streams requiring things like adequate fish passage, and good water quality that wild salmon need. Secondly, the measure ensures that Alaskans, for the first time, have a voice in the permitting process for major developments that could harm salmon habitat by requiring public notice and for major projects public comment. Third, it gives Fish and Game the authority to protect habitat in ALL streams in the state that support salmon, not just those that make it by chance into the anadromous waters catalogue which is woefully incomplete. Last, it will ensure that responsible development projects move forward in a process that is balanced and predictable creating certainty for industries and assurance to Alaskans that our wild salmon legacy will be preserved.

Commercial fishermen in particular are supporting this update to our state’s 50-year-old salmon habitat permitting law because it will help us maintain the Alaska seafood brand of clean and pure products, ensures better returns in the future and provides certainty that our fishing businesses can thrive and prosper for years to come.

—Lindsey Bloom

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