VOLUME 34, NUMBER 9
Published by Alaska Business Publishing Co.
Managing Editor Kathryn Mackenzie
Associate Editor Tasha Anderson
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Art Production Linda Shogren
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VP & General Manager Jason Martin
VP Sales & Marketing Charles Bell
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Advertising Account Manager Christine Merki
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FROM THE EDITOR
Standing for Business
Several weeks ago Jason Martin, Alaska Business vice president and general manager, strolled into my office with a handful of brochures, asked me to take a look them, and let him know what I
think. Being the stellar worker bee I am, I picked up what I thought would
be new marketing material or an interesting conference on the horizon,
only to find they were all about Ballot Measure 1 (aka Stand for Salmon).
This request was surprising to me because, in the world of
journalism as I’ve experienced it, it’s rare for a media outlet to take a
public stance on a political issue. But as I read through the material, I
became increasingly concerned and decided more research was in
order. Fast forward to today and I understand why Jason wanted me to
look at this ballot measure. Because it is far more than a political issue,
it’s a business issue, and that makes it an Alaska Business issue.
Our mission is to provide a positive voice for business while
championing economic growth through expert insight on business-related topics. We are proponents of Alaska’s business community,
which is why the more I read about Ballot Measure 1 the clearer it is
that, in order for Alaska Business to continue to fulfill our mission, we
must take a stand against this initiative.
The group that brought the “Stand for Salmon” initiative to life is
hoping to sway Alaskans to vote for a law change that would require the
Department of Fish and Game Commissioner to deny permit applications
for development in salmon habitat if the development is deemed to have
a “significant adverse effect” on salmon and/or its habitat.
The group opposed to Ballot Measure 1—Stand for Alaska—is
adamant that “Alaska needs tough policies that protect our
environment, fish, and wildlife today and far into the future. And
that’s why Alaskans are proud to have one of the most robust and
comprehensive permitting systems in the world, as well as world-class
Both sides agree salmon—a vital part of Alaska living—is valuable,
and you’d be hard pressed to find Alaskans who don’t care about the
state of salmon habitats. Including the Alaska government.
“Alaska’s laws include a section entirely dedicated to protecting
one of our most important resources—fish. Since statehood in 1959,
over eighteen new federal and state policies have been enacted to
strengthen fish habitat protections. In addition, Alaska has added
numerous regional protections that are unique to habitats and species,
allowing for sophisticated policies that address the demands of each
environment specifically. Every year, new bodies of water are added to
the State’s protected fish habitat listing. Many regard ‘the Alaska model’
for fishery management laws and regulations among the strongest of
all fifty states,” says the Stand for Alaska website.
Dave Marquez, former Alaska Attorney General, says, “If this initiative
passes, it will impact any permit or permit renewal near fresh water on
the assumption that all waters in Alaska are anadromous fish habitat.”
The tie to business? Ballot Measure 1 will make it more time
consuming, costly, and (in some cases) impossible to acquire and
renew the many permits needed to build and operate essential
facilities such as airports, water treatment facilities, roads, bridges,
docks, hydroelectric facilities, and other projects that already require
extensive permitting from state and federal authorities.
Ballot Measure 1 is a business issue, a quality of life issue, and, could
determine whether some Alaskans can even continue to make a living
I haven’t met a single person who believes Alaska companies
should extract natural resources at any cost to the environment.
Alaskans, whether they’re in the business of resource development or
retail, have a deep love for this land and the wildlife that resides here.
They also have the experience and knowledge to conduct business
in an environmentally conscious manner—without Outside interests
telling them how to do it.
In early August, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that Ballot Measure
1 can appear on the ballot in November once its unconstitutional
provisions are removed; even with certain rhetoric removed, this
measure is unreasonable and unnecessary. That is why Alaska Business
is Standing for Business by saying no to Ballot Measure 1.
Managing Editor, Alaska Business