Written by Jen Finn
While Alaska may host a wide variety of people, thoughts and ideas, I think we can all agree that salmon are an important part of calling this great state home. Whether in our belly, on the end of our line or in our net, salmon feed us, provide jobs and support a multi-billion dollar a year economy. Our salmon are iconic.
As an Alaskan and one of the 14,000 people who make my living in Bristol Bay, I’m troubled by the actions of many of our state’s leaders, including the words printed here by former Governor Frank Murkowski last week. His attacks on the EPA’s watershed assessment of the region are inaccurate and gratuitous. It’s a clear cut issue: our state government simply will not protect Bristol Bay, so the tribes and fishermen in the region asked EPA to step in. But more on that later on.
Over the last several years, state leaders have allowed the two foreign mining companies that make up the Pebble Partnership to string the people of Alaska along, teasing us with promises of a mine plan that will be “released next year.” Well, next year has yet to come and this scenario has forced communities and small businesses like mine to operate in the shadow of what might become America’s largest open pit mine for almost a decade. I am out of patience with having to make day-to-day business decisions without having answers about Pebble. Businesses thrive under market certainty.
Read the full story at Juneau Empire>>
The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.
Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.
The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.Read more...