Today, Alaska has the opportunity and responsibility to protect our wild salmon by updating our fish habitat law.
Alaska’s law for protecting salmon habitat hasn’t been updated since it was written at statehood, and it’s putting our salmon at risk.
At the formal request of citizens, Alaska’s Board of Fisheries submitted a letter to the State Legislature in January 2017 asking for an update to Title 16: Alaska’s Fish Habitat Permit Law.
Current law directs the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) to approve any resource extraction proposal near salmon streams unless the plans are,
“insufficient for the proper protection of fish and game.”
The problem is, there is no definition for the “proper protection of fish and game.” This language is too vague to guide decisions on projects that have the potential to irreparably harm our salmon, like the Pebble Mine.
By simply updating an old law, we can limit damage to salmon habitat so that our wild salmon runs remain strong for future generations. The task before our legislators today is to define what constitutes the “proper protection of fish and game.” We see four key updates that should be made to do so:
1. Define a healthy River
The first key update is to clarify the important habitat characteristics that need to be maintained to be able to support salmon runs. (Things like water quality, flow levels, fish passage, etc.)
2. Promote responsible development
This update would create commonsense standards a developer must meet to protect wild salmon before the project can move forward. And, the standards would allow ADF&G to actually say “no” to a project that would cause too much harm to our salmon rivers and waterways.
3. rivers Receive salmon protection
Currently, less than 50% of salmon-bearing waters are protected. The third update is to expand the listing to include any waterway that produces salmon so we’re not leaving important salmon waters unprotected.
4. Give Alaskans a voice
The fourth update would require the ADF&G to notify the public and give Alaskans an opportunity to participate in important decisions that could impact or harm our wild salmon.
Good news. Today YOU can help make these simple updates to our salmon protection law.
Take a stand for salmon today!
Do you agree that our wild salmon are a critical part of Alaska’s culture? If so, join the effort to protect them and make sure Alaska remains the salmon state for generations to come. Here are three things you can do today:
join the conversation
Learn more & spread the word.
Text to act
Text "salmon" to 877-877* and we'll send text you when your voice matters most.
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