Saturday, December 5, 2009

Proposal 13 update

The Alaska Board of Fisheries today took no action on Proposal 13, which would have had the board send the state Legislature a resolution calling for creation of a Bristol Bay "fish refuge."

Instead, the board decided to send a letter to the Legislature noting that a lot of people expressed concerns at today's meeting about the potential for the proposed Pebble mine to hurt the region's abundant salmon and trout stocks.

The letter will recommend legislators adopt additional regulations, if warranted, to protect the fish and fish habitat, board member Karl Johnstone told me.

Sentiment among the 79 people who testified on Proposal 13 ran about two to one in favor, he said.

But the word "refuge" worried some people who felt development or existing land uses could be curtailed.

The board is aiming to have its letter drafted by the time its Anchorage meeting ends Tuesday.

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