Alaska’s salmon habitat is facing unprecedented threats from the state government

The Arctic is warming almost three times as fast as the rest of the globe due to climate change, and Arctic freshwater ecosystems are beginning to unravel. Why then is the Dunleavy administration working on a plan that further endangers these vital natural resources? 

Under pressure from the extraction industry, Governor Dunleavy is proposing new rules that would strip away the rights of individual Alaskans to hold instream flow reservations, a key way in which Alaska Native Tribes and citizens can protect water resources on which they depend for subsistence and recreation, and open up these critical waterways for further exploitation from oil and mining companies. Under the new proposed rule, corporations can continue to take water from streams and rivers largely unchecked, without public review or comment. At the same time, Alaskans who want to keep water in streams in order to protect fish habitat, must go through a rigorous and costly application process and will lose the ability to enforce or manage such protections which could be revoked by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources at any time. 

While the Dunleavy administration is attempting to quietly fast track these disastrous changes by disguising them as routine updates to existing regulations, and  limiting the comment period to less than 6 weeks, NBITWC and our partners are working quickly to build a strong opposition to this unfair proposal, and we need your support. There is no time to waste, Alaskans need to tell Governor Dunleavy that corporate lobbyists for oil and gas and mining companies shouldn’t get special treatment under the law, at the expense of Alaskans  and Tribal subsistence resources.  

To donate to the Norton Bay Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, click here. Your support helps us stay in the best position to fight unfair and harmful proposals like this one. 

For Alaska-based coverage of this topic, click here. The deadline to submit questions to DNR regarding the Proposed Regulations  is February 16th.

UPDATE: The comment deadline for this proposal has been extended to March 19. For more details on the proposed changes and to submit your comments, click here 

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