Letter to the editor: Vote YES on Ballot Measure 1

If you are uncertain about how to vote on our ballot measure 1 Stand for Salmon Initiative on Nov. 6 because you’ve heard so many conflicting opinions, you’re not alone. Here are a few basic, unassailable facts to consider when deciding your vote:

1. Our Stand for Salmon Initiative has been modeled after a highly successful Minnesota salmon habitat protection policy and has received input and guidance from Alaskan commercial and sports fishing organizations, a wide range of tribal leaders, long-standing recommendations from our Alaska Board of Fisheries and has received support by over 40,000 Alaskans from every legislative district.

2. The organizations that are funding the effort to defeat Ballot Measure 1 are a few out-of-state-based petroleum and mining companies who’s primary goal is to maximize their near-term profits and who have no vested interest in protecting our renewable salmon resources which annually generate over $2 billion worth of revenue, $744 million worth of taxes and provides over 30,000 direct Alaskan jobs and several times that in indirect jobs.

3. Ballot Measure 1 is a permitting policy that is designed to provide guidance for infrastructure and other projects that will allow construction projects to proceed while at the same time protecting our critical salmon habitat.

4. Oregon, Washington and California, which did not have salmon habitat protection, have lost 95 percent of their salmon habitat spawning grounds, which has crippled their salmon fisheries, and are now being forced to spend billions on habitat restoration.

On Nov 6. please vote YES on Ballot Measure 1 in order to protect our critical salmon fisheries and industries.

— Taz Tally Ph.D., environmental geologist

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