Sport fishing, tourism businesses submit letter in support of fish habitat initiative

Today dozens of businesses and fishing organizations in Alaska that depend on robust populations of fish and game have submitted an open letter to Alaska's elected decision makers and voters in support of Ballot Measure 1, known as the “Salmon habitat initiative.”  

The letter states that intact salmon habitat is necessary for Alaska business owners, “to feed our families, pay our employees, and help give visitors and residents alike the sporting experiences they’ve come to expect in Alaska."  

Signers contend, if voted into law, the measure will help protect Alaska's recreation and fish-based businesses, which depend on healthy and productive salmon habitat and account for more than 43,000 jobs and $4.8 billion annually to Alaska's economy. 

“We have long recognized Alaska needs both salmon and development of our state’s natural resources,” said Chris Tobias, owner of Roe Hard Guide Service. “But in order to maintain our salmon, we need to ensure that development is done responsibly and with Alaskan input. This initiative walks the fine line between advancing safe and responsible development in Alaska while also protecting critical fish habitat.”  

Using science-based standards for determining whether a development project can be permitted and move forward, along with the opportunity for public input, the initiative differentiates between projects that deserve rigorous review because they will cause significant impacts to salmon habitat and smaller projects that can be streamlined because they will cause little to no impact.  The proposed Pebble mine, for example, would be subject to the most stringent permitting requirements while traditional recreational uses, for example, would not need a permit at all. 

“Better salmon habitat laws are good for fishing, good for business, and good for Alaska,” said Nelli Williams, Trout Unlimited's Alaska director. “The initiative modernizes Alaska’s salmon laws so we can adequately review and make informed decisions about threatening projects we see today, such as the proposed Pebble mine, that were unimaginable over 50 years ago when our current laws were drafted. I hope voters recognize this initiative has lasting benefits for fisheries and tourism, which are important economic pillars of our state.” 

Read the letter from businesses and organizations supporting updating Alaska’s fish habitat protection laws and join the community of hunters and anglers committed to voting yes on ballot measure 1. To learn more about ballot measure 1 click here.  

Paid for By Trout Unlimited Alaska, Anchorage, AK. Nelli Williams Director, approved this message. Top Three Donors are Dan Michels, Wasilla, AK; Alaska Fishing Unlimited, Port Alsworth, AK; and Josh Grieser, Anchorage, AK.