Voices of Alaska: Stand for Salmon would hurt Alaska

  • By JIM JANSEN
  • Monday, May 21, 2018 11:19am
  • Opinion

I love salmon, but I care deeply about Alaska too. That’s why I oppose the salmon initiative that could be on the November statewide ballot.

I doubt that there is anyone in Alaska who wants to protect salmon more than me. Transporting salmon, by aircraft, barges and trucks is a major part of our business, and sport fishing is my favorite pastime.

Fishing has been and will continue to be a mainstay of Alaska’s economy and way of life for most Alaskans.

The proponents of the Stand for Salmon ballot measure want you to believe their proposal is just about protecting salmon, that it won’t hinder development. If that were truly the case, I would support the measure but, unfortunately, once again, outside groups are trying to stop development, kill jobs and destroy Alaska.

The Stand for Salmon initiative would make it extremely expensive and difficult for any type of development or community project. Whether it’s building a mine, repairing or building roads, developing an oil field on the North Slope or building a home, this initiative would be a major permitting impediment.

We need to protect our unique and cherished ecosystems, especially in areas like Bristol Bay that rely so heavily on commercial and sport fishing industries. Many Alaskans were led to believe this would stop the Pebble Mine, but the initiative goes way beyond stopping one project in Alaska. Instead, it negatively impacts all resource development. This is a broad effort to attack Alaska statewide, and that’s why I decided to join the effort to defeat the initiative before it destroys our state.

The fish habitat ballot measure would cripple many industries by adding layers of unnecessary rules and regulations that would serve only to slow down or stop development and community projects, large and small. Building roads or runways in rural Alaska is already an expensive undertaking. Piling burdensome regulations onto those projects makes them harder to fund, if they are funded at all.

Fortunately, once Alaskans find out the true meaning and purpose of this ballot measure, they are speaking out against it. Alaska’s attorney general, Jahna Lindemuth, said the measure “would have the effect of categorically blocking certain mines, dams, roads and pipelines.” The Laborers and Teamsters unions oppose the measure because it would cause statewide job loss. Aaron Schutt, the president of Doyon, an Alaska Native regional corporation, said “there will not be another significant project built in rural Alaska if this initiative passes.”

Once again, Alaska needs to rally against an ill-conceived ballot measure that will be a huge roadblock to our state’s economy. Stand for Alaska is the name of an impressive coalition of businesses, Native organizations and individual Alaskans who love salmon but care about Alaska too. Lynden is a proud member of this group and we will help push back on the false narrative that Alaskans must choose between development and habitat protection. We can have both and have for many years.

For more information about our coalition and the ballot measure, visit standforak.com.

If the Alaska Supreme Court allows this ballot measure on the general election ballot this November, I am firmly voting no, and I encourage my fellow Alaskans to do the same.

Jim Jansen is the chairman of shipping company Lynden Inc. and a supporter of Stand for Alaska.

More in Opinion

This Aug. 3, 2021, photo shows Juneau International Airport.  The Federal Aviation Administration shared recommendations on Thursday for improving aviation safety in the state. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: How the FAA will improve the margin of aviation safety in Alaska

Alaska depends on aviation more than any other state…

Central Peninsula Hospital is seen in Soldotna on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Perspective of an educator in a ‘high-risk’ group, part 2

During some of the darkest days of my time in ICU, it was obvious where we all live is a special place.

Lawmakers havereturned to the Alaska State Capitol for a fourth special session. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Revenues should be determined before more PFD spending

The governor believes the dividend drives the entire calculation. Sadly, he has it backwards

Ronnie Leach. (Photo provided)
Point of View: For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, #weareresilient

At the onset of COVID-19, we expanded our services in a way to ensure COVID-19 consciousness.

Rep. Don Young talks during a June 2021 interview with the Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion:Where’s Don Young when America needs him?

Once upon a time, avoiding political controversy was completely out of character for Young.

Peter Zuyus
Voices of the Peninsula: Seniors appreciate vaccination efforts

To those who have worked to encourage vaccination we say: Be proud, you are, in fact, saving lives.

Jackson Blackwell (courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: Carbon dividends are the bipartisan climate solution

By levying a gradually increasing price on carbon, U.S. emissions will be slashed by 50% in 15 years.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Dunleavy: Facts Matter

Political opportunists care more about spreading political untruths than accepting the facts.

Steve Hughes. (Photo provided)
Voices of the Peninsula: We are all victims of COVID-19

It is disturbing to hear, as a triage nurse, the many reasons cited for not getting a vaccine that are based on misinformation.

teaser
Opinion: LGBTQ+ Alaskans deserve respect and dignity

Like every state that lacks equality, we need federal protection.

Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships. (logo provided)
Point of View: September is National Recovery Month

The biggest challenge when talking about recovery is the truth that one… Continue reading

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is seen in this Dec. 19, 2019 file photo. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Opinion: Alaska will greatly benefit from historic infrastructure bill

I was able to add many provisions to our bipartisan bill that are targeted to help Alaska.