The Alaska Native Village Corporation Association, Inc. Resolution
A RESOLUTION SUPPORTING STAND FOR ALASKA: OPPOSING “YES” FOR SALMON BALLOT INITIATIVE”
WHEREAS, The Alaska Native Village Corporation Association, Inc. (“ANVCA”) is a non-profit corporation duly organized under the laws of the State of Alaska; and
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 in our community and Alaska Native Village Corporation Association remains supportive of our stated priorities for responsible development in our various communities.
WHEREAS: The Alaska Native Village Corporation Association Supports the protection of Wild Salmon, and all fish and wildlife in the State of Alaska.
WHEREAS: The ballot initiative places unattainable protection standards on community and village development, both large and small. Under the proposed permitting process, road projects, water projects, wastewater treatment projects in our villages and communities would require a major permit as described by the initiative language
WHEREAS: Communities and villages would bear the costs of obtaining those permits under the ballot initiative language, resulting in a severe impact on community and economic development;
WHEREAS: The ballot initiative would also have costly impacts on other projects in the state, including the proposed gasline. Not permitted under the ballot initiative would be projects like the Parks highway upgrades, Donlin Gold Mine, Fort Knox Mine, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline or other projects that would permanently impact fish populations. Enhancements, such as hatcheries and moist air incubation, would not qualify for permits under the proposed language;
WHEREAS: If this initiative becomes law, revenues from resource development on ANCSA lands would be directly impacted; resulting in negative impacts to 7(i) and 7(j) payments.
WHEREAS: Alaska Statute 16.05.871 is repealed under the bill initiative as of the effective date of the bill, and no regulatory regime will be in place until new regulations are adopted, leading to an uncertain process for an unspecified period of time;
WHEREAS: The time and cost for permitting and re-permitting processes will increase and create a negative effect for communities and villages, and the uncertainty of what is being proposed under the initiative is problematic for anyone or any company seeking future permits or permit renewals;
WHEREAS: Transportation and development projects like King Cove Road, Old Harbor Airport Project, Nome Port Project, and various timber harvest operations, would face an uphill battle in the proposed permitting process;
WHEREAS: The State of Alaska currently has a robust permitting process for all development projects across the state, and there is no stated need to repeal the current process. Any fish and wildlife habitat reform should take place in an open and transparent legislative process.
WHEREAS: The proposed initiative limits the ability of ADFG to make science based decisions to reverse or deny permits; the proposed initiative limits the ability of ADFG to issue blanket permits for a specific use in a geographic area.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: Alaska Native Village Corporation Association endorses the protections to Alaska’s fish as provided by the current regulatory regime;
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: Alaska Native Village Corporation Association 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 Alaska Native Village Corporation Association does not support the proposed 17FSH2 ballot initiative and encourages our stakeholders to vote no on the ballot initiative.