Borough to establish anadromous streams habitat protection work group

The work group would assess current permit processes and recommend potential amendments to code.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is set to establish a work group to examine regulations regarding anadromous habitat protection within the Kenai River and Cook Inlet watersheds.

The Anadromous Streams Habitat Protection Work Group would assess current permit processes and recommend potential amendments to code regulating habitat protection for anadromous fish, which are fish that migrate from salt water to spawn in fresh water, like salmon.

In 1996, the borough assembly established regulation ensuring habitat protection of anadromous fish. In 2013, the assembly enacted code requiring a staff review of the habitat protections to occur every five years, beginning in 2015.

The work group would go through the public process, and review the borough code as it relates to anadromous habitat protection, taking advantage of new information and techniques, the resolution said. The work group may also seek to “correct deficiencies or difficulties” and recommend whether regulations should be amended. The group will review the code also to make sure it is consistent with the purpose and findings of the new comprehensive plan, which will also be heard at the assembly Nov. 5.

Representatives from the clerk’s office, legal department and planning department will support the work group, along with at least one assembly member, one planning commissioner and five members of the public, who will be appointed by the mayor.

The work group shall conclude with a final report by March 23, 2020, unless its time is extended by the assembly.

The resolution will be heard at Tuesday’s borough assembly meeting.

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