Fish scientists, managers back Ballot Measure 1

A group of 58 retired state and federal agency scientists, including former U.S Commissioner to the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission Earl Krygier, have released a statement in Support of the Stand for Salmon Ballot Measure 1.

“Exxon, Pebble and the other corporations are smothering Alaskans with fear-mongering ads to scare and confuse us,” said Phil Brna, a retired scientist who worked for over 34 years with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“We thought it was important for folks to see that the experts with the on-the-ground experience, not political appointees — strongly believe we must update our broken fish habitat system.”

The statement signed by Brna, Krygier and the rest was released by Cook Inletkeeper, a nonprofit organization based in Homer whose mission is to protect the Cook Inlet watershed and the life it sustains.

“Ballot Measure 1 does not stop all proposed projects as claimed in ads by multinational corporate opponents,” Krygier said in a related commentary. “It does require public notice and participation on large projects and more scientific review. This may result in some project delay, but consider that robust project development still occurs in the Lower 48 under more restrictive regulations than those proposed under Measure 1. Unlike Alaska, most project development in the Pacific Northwest salmon states must meet stringent habitat protection most by the endangered Species Act because unregulated development occurred in pristine habitat and depleted or expunged native salmon stocks.”