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With heavy lobbying to reclassify hydro-power as "renwable energy" and to seek funding for hydro-power projects "without restriction" and with the Supreme Court deciding it's okay for the Army Corp of Engineers to call mine tailings "fill" and dump such tailings into lakes supporting wild fish (Kensington Mine case), we're reminded that wild fish stocks in the United States are all but lost and the importance of wild fish as a source of healthy, affordable food, all but forgotten.

In Alaska currently, the last homeland of wild salmon in the U.S., the pressure to make money off of hydro-power at the expense of sustainable wild fish stocks is relentless.

Would a Department of Sustainable Fisheries help remind those in power that people can't eat money and people can't eat gold, but people can eat wild fish? The protection of wild fish stocks needs to be given a higher priority among legislators and policy makers.

May I call your attention once again to the Chilkoot River in Haines, Alaska?  

The Chilkoot River in Haines, Alaska, is one of the most productive small (20-miles long) rivers on the planet. It supports sockeye, pink, chum, and coho salmon, among other wild fish stocks. It supports traditional lifestyle and sustainable community--commercial, sport, and subsistence fishing and tourism.  It supports Alaska Coastal Brown Bears, moose, eagles, otters, wolves, beavers, mountain goats, coyotes, and more.

Alaska Power and Telephone (AP&T) has just applied, once again, for a FERC permit to build a hydro-power project in Chilkoot's upper watershed above Chilkoot Lake that will significantly impact the sensitive salmon spawning grounds located in the narrow wetlands there that is also part of the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve (because of the salmon it supports).

Previously folks asked for a place to donate for the efforts to protect Chilkoot.  We now have formed Chilkoot Watershed Coalition (CWC) and have a website that provides information to comment to FERC (by July 6) and a place for donations for this cause.

If you are interested in seeing photos and a map of the watershed, if you are interested in being part of the network of individuals, businesses, and organizations working together to protect the Chilkoot River and its wild fish stocks, and/or just want to learn a bit more, the CWC site is:

Feedback, suggestions, comments welcome.  Thanks.

Originally posted to akmk on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 11:57 AM PDT.


The U.S. could benefit from a Department of Sustainable Fisheries

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