Letter to the editor: Ballot Measure 1 is bad for the Arctic

Alaskans have always been territorial and rightfully so. After all, even pre-statehood, D.C. lawmakers and Lower 48 special interests worked hard and spent heavily to influence what we could or couldn’t do on our land — local, state, Native or otherwise.

Enter Ballot Measure 1, the latest attack on Alaskans’ rights. By attempting to replace our current development regulations with a permitting process designed to predominantly prevent development, initiative supporters are jeopardizing our rural communities’ ability to fund basic community services, which in the bush are almost wholly reliant upon resource projects. And it’s not just basic services that are in jeopardy. Visions for a deepwater port in the Arctic, infrastructure to support emerging shipping and tourism opportunities and even the sustainability of North Slope oil fields are on the line here.

The future of our state is at stake and Alaskans should know what they’re up against. I vote “no” on Ballot Measure 1, and “yes” to a promising future for Alaska.

— John Hopson Jr.. Vice Chairman, Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat

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