Resolution of the Board of Directors of The Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce

Supporting Stand for Alaska: Opposing the Stand for Salmon Ballot Initiative

WHEREAS, On July 14, 2017, Ballot Initiative sponsors, known as Stand for Salmon, filed amended petition 17FSH2, “An Act providing for the protection of wild salmon and fish and wildlife habitat”, and on October 18, 2017 Stand for Alaska was formed to oppose the ballot initiative;

WHEREAS, the proposed ballot initiative would have a negative impact on our community and the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce remains supportive of our stated priorities for regulatory policies that foster growth, investment and diversity in all economic sectors;

WHEREAS, The ballot initiative places unattainable and unnecessary regulation on economic and community development in Juneau and throughout Alaska;

WHEREAS, The City and Borough of Juneau and private developers both large and small will experience delays and will bear the increased costs of obtaining permits under the ballot initiative language, resulting in a negative impact on community projects and economic development;  

WHEREAS, the ballot initiative would also have costly impacts on projects throughout the state, however it would have devastating impacts on the two mines in the City and Borough of Juneau and would result in lost jobs and tax revenue in our city;

WHEREAS, Alaska Statute 16.05.871 is repealed under the initiative as of the effective date, and no regulatory regime will be in place until new regulations are adopted, resulting in an uncertain process for an unspecified period of time;

WHEREAS, Transportation and development projects like the Juneau Access Road, the 2nd Douglas Crossing, the West Douglas Development Plan, upgrades to sewer and water treatment infrastructure, affordable housing development and full implementation of the Juneau Economic Development plan would face additional costly permitting or be prevented under the proposed initiative; 

WHEREAS, The State of Alaska currently has a robust permitting process for all development projects across the state, and there is no stated need and no science-based evidence to support repealing the current comprehensive, rigorous permitting process;

WHEREAS, all fish and wildlife habitat reform should take place in an open and transparent legislative process that includes extensive technical review and science-based research and analysis; and

WHEREAS, the proposed initiative limits the ability of the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) to make science-based decisions to reverse or deny permits; the proposed initiative limits the ability of ADF&G to issue permits for a specific use in a geographic area; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce endorses the protection of Alaska’s fish and wildlife and their habitat as provided by the current robust and comprehensive regulatory regime;

RESOLVED, That the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce supports the Stand for Alaska group and its assertion that community and natural resource projects and activities in Alaska can be and are done responsibly; with a strong focus on protecting the environment, cultural activities and protecting fish and wildlife; while providing good-paying jobs, quality of life, and opportunities for people to remain in their communities

FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that The Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce opposes the 17FSH2 ballot initiative and encourages our members to vote no on the ballot initiative.

 

Lizzie Rosen