Today, Alaskans have the opportunity to stand up for our wild salmon by updating a 60-year-old law
Alaska’s law guiding development in salmon habitat is 60 years old and needs to be updated. 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 the law.
Currently, there are no specific rules limiting the amount of damage allowed to fish habitat during a development project. The law’s language is vague and does not provide the Alaska Department of Fish and Game with all the tools necessary to protect waters important to salmon. We need to define what it means to “develop responsibly” in salmon habitat. Currently, there is no definition.
By updating a 60-year-old law, we can create clear rules and bring certainty and stability to development projects while giving Alaskans a voice in protecting our most vital natural resource, our wild salmon.
The updates would:
The updates would:
1. Define a healthy River
It’s not enough to protect salmon. We need to ensure their ecosystems remain healthy for all that depend on them. Therefore, the first key update clarifies the important habitat characteristics needed to support salmon runs, such as water quality, flow levels and fish passage.
2. Update list of salmon-bearing waters
Currently, less than half of salmon streams and rivers in Alaska are listed with the state as salmon habitat. The second update expands state listings to include every waterway, ensuring we’re not leaving important salmon waters unprotected. This update also reduces the state’s need to assess each river and stream, saving it millions of dollars.
3. Give Alaskans a Voice
The third update requires ADF&G to notify the public, giving Alaskans a voice when it comes to major projects that could impact our wild salmon. In a 2016 poll, 75 percent of Alaskans supported clearer rules that would protect the strong legacy of Alaska salmon for future generations.
4. Promote Responsible development
The fourth update creates clear rules, brings stability and transparency to development projects and ensures continued long-term access to good-paying jobs for both the development and salmon industries while protecting the strong legacy of Alaska salmon for future generations.
Good news. Today YOU can help make these simple updates to our laws guiding development in salmon habitat a reality.
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.
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