Senator Murkowski wants to know why salmon are in decline by Jan. 14!

Written by SEACC

January 12, 2022

Senator Murkowski wants to know why salmon are in decline across our state. Is it:

A) Mining and logging degrading our watersheds
B) Climate change
C) Trawl bycatch
D) All of the above

Give her your thoughts by this Friday, Jan. 14! She’s all ears at the Salmon Roundtable Portal or 202-224-6665.

Psst, need some help with your answers in the Salmon Roundtable Portal? Here’s what we put:

Who do you feel has been impacted by the salmon declines in Alaska? Who should be part of the conversation to create greater opportunities for collaboration and lasting solutions?
  • Communities where Subsistence salmon harvest is of critical import (find using harvest data, stream surveys, and other Best Available Science, or BAS).
  • Engage with those communities publicly regarding their concerns and observations regarding salmon populations. Commercial and sport (charter) fishermen.
How and where do you feel we could target research efforts to better understand the salmon declines and their impacts on Alaskans?
  • State funding increases and support for a broader range of salmon population research. Base target areas on historical harvest data, as well as traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), when possible, and the latest data on salmon runs and escapement.
  • Support more comprehensive Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) water quality monitoring and reporting, creating baseline data for unstudied areas, and with a focus on retrieving data from areas that have been impacted by mining, logging, and other industrial activities or development.
  • Engage with communities where harvest has been low or nonexistent in recent years. Listen to their observations and concerns.
What federal policy suggestions would you like to share with the Senator?

We at the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council encourage full support for the Roadless Rule and for Roadless Area Conservation Act, as well as:

  • Halting industrial-scale logging of old-growth forests via these policy mechanisms is vital for every watershed that supports salmon species in Alaska. It is a scientific fact that old-growth trees help protect fish-rearing riparian and estuarine areas from the impacts of climate change, one of the primary drivers of salmon decline.
  • Continuing federal oversight of clean water and wetlands in Alaska, in order to best provide for the successful engagement of the public, especially Indigenous populations.
  • Reviewing and changing the federal bycatch allowance regulations, based on BAS and engagement with the thousands of informed people coming forward to protest current Alaskan bycatch allowances in the face of fish population declines across the board.

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