Letters to the editor: Vote Yes on Prop 1 and make history

Make History

Scotland, England, Norway, Japan, Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Maine, New York, Massachusetts, California, Oregon, Washington… all used to have wild salmon runs. It’s a fact that the single largest cause of lost salmon runs is ruining the upstream habitat. Salmon were lost because logging brought erosion, hydroelectric dams blocked fish passage, farming siphoned water for irrigation and mining polluted watersheds.

Some Alaskans believe our salmon are still around because of ADF&G management and our existing regulations. Let’s face it, we have good habitat because there are less than a million people in our state and there hasn’t been a lot of competition from other industries and development yet. This is why the vast majority of our salmon habitats have remained pristine and healthy.

The hard truth is we are not doing anything different than Europe, the Atlantic or the Pacific coasts. We are developing Alaska just as they developed their regions, and like them, we are losing salmon along the way. Resource extraction is what Alaska is all about! We grab each boom as quickly as it becomes a moneymaker. The only way we’ll hang onto salmon is to slide them up higher on the resource priority list, provide more protections and be willing to make hard choices. History and life prove we can’t have it all.

And how will Alaskans know we are actually doing things different than the ‘lands of lost salmon’? When our decisions seem a bit radical. When it feels like a new direction. When priorities are not just monetary. When big business balks.

Vote Yes on Prop 1 and make history.

— Catie Bursch, Homer

More in Opinion

Charlie Franz.
Point of View: Election integrity is not anti-democratic

The federalization of elections by the Freedom to Vote Act infringes on the constitutional right of states to regulate elections.

Snow blows off Mt. Roberts high above the Thane avalanche chute, where an avalanche blew across the road during a major snowstorm. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
An Alaska winter of discontent

It’s been a hard winter throughout the state.

A Uncruise Adventures cruise ship, with a fleet of kayaks in the water behind it, in the Tongass National Forest. Uncruise, a boutique local cruise ship operator, has been vocal about the importance of the intact Tongass National Forest, or SeaBank, to its business. (Photo by Ben Hamilton/courtesy Salmon State)
Alaska Voices: The dividends paid by Southeast Alaska’s ‘Seabank’ are the state’s untold secrets

Southeast Alaska’s natural capital produces economic outputs from the seafood and visitor products industries worth several billion dollars a year

Opinion: The pulse of fealty

Let’s be honest. Trump’s demands go beyond his one stated condition.

Former Gov. Frank Murkowski speaks on a range of subjects during an interview with the Juneau Empire in May 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Alaska Voices: Permanent fund integrity in peril?

Alaskans need to be kept informed of what the trustees are doing with their money.

A cast member holds up a cue card in Soldotna High School’s production of "Annie" on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Is theater dead?

“It will not be an easy task, performing CPR on this theater, but imagine the joy that you could bring to the students.”

Bjørn Olson (Photo provided)
Point of View: Homer Drawdown moves forward with climate-change solutions

Two years ago, a small group of concerned citizens decided to use this book as a guiding document

A “Vote Here” sign is seen at the City of Kenai building on Monday, Sept. 21 in Kenai, Alaska.
Voices of the Peninsula: Fight for democracy

When the Insurrection occurred on Jan. 6, 2021, it was a direct attack on our democratic rule of law.

Most Read