Opinion: Fish can’t vote yes on Ballot Measure 1, but you can

Opinion: Fish can’t vote yes on Ballot Measure 1, but you can

Vote for the fish on Nov. 6 because they can’t vote for themselves. The foundation of our ecosystem and our economy is salmon. The seafood sector contributes $5 billion to the Alaska economy. Salmon are a renewable resource as long as we take care of their habitat where they migrate and spawn.

The oil, mining and timber industries and their lobbyists are pouring millions of dollars into a false campaign called Stand for Alaska, trying to dupe residents into voting against Ballot Measure 1 because they don’t want the added responsibility and cost of doing business in our state to protect our fish. The current law on the books to protect salmon habitat from development is inadequate and was enacted 60 years ago during statehood. It is past due time to update and strengthen these regulations.

Alaska has one of the few healthy wild salmon runs left in the world, providing commercial, sport and subsistence users and wildlife with livelihoods and food. There are many examples of places around the world where salmon runs have been wiped out by development and water degradation. In the state of Washington salmon recovery efforts have cost $5.5 billion over the last nine years.

To ensure that your kids and their grandkids can harvest and eat wild salmon, it is time to bring our regulations into the 21st century. Industry is focused on their profit margin, not in protecting our public resource, our salmon. It is time to vote to Stand for Salmon, a vote that stands for Alaska and its heart and soul. Vote yes on Ballot Measure 1.

Thom Ely,


• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.