Letter to the editor: Vote No on One

Vote No on One

I am one of those of us lucky enough to call this Great Land home. I grew up on a Homestead in what is now Soldotna, Alaska — we commercial fished in the summer, and as a child I watched the Kenai River flow by less than a quarter mile from our home. I know that Alaska is one of the most unique places to live in the world. It is also one of the most challenging, wild and expensive. As Alaskans, we know that with the blessings of the land and water — stellar hunting and fishing, natural beauty, and richness of resources — comes the responsibility to look after our state for generations to come.

These things are evident to anyone who has made their life here. Living in Alaska means finding the proper balance between harnessing our natural resources and protecting Alaska for our grandchildren. Despite our long history of looking after this place, we are continually bombarded with demands that we restrict our use of the land and our desire for prosperity. These demands are almost exclusively made from outside the state of Alaska. We are not wholly averse to good ideas from “Outside,” but we tend to be a bit prickly when a bad idea is foisted on us by special interest groups that do not share our lived experience on the frontier.

I do not know another community or state that cares more about its watersheds and its salmon. Current ADF&G regulations, such as the Anadromous Stream Act and the Fish Passageways Act, are among 18 state and federal regulations which guide a thorough, rigorous permitting process. I believe that repealing and replacing ADF&G regulations with vague, untested language will lead to uncertainty to the communities and the state. Instead, I believe we stay the path, creating future regulations in a thoughtful and educated manner as we have done for the last 60 years.

“Stand for Salmon” is about emotion, not science — pulling on the heartstrings without looking into the depths of the initiative. I will Vote No on 1 to protect our salmon, community and state from Outside interests that do not understand our lived experience, nor have the best interest of the state of Alaska and its residents in mind.

— Linda Hutchings, Soldotna

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