Soldotna introduces resolution opposing “Stand for Salmon”

The Soldotna City Council will introduce a resolution at tonight’s meeting that would express the council’s opposition to the “Stand for Salmon” initiative.

The resolution, prepared at the request of Council member Lisa Parker, would oppose Alaska Ballot Measure 1, known as the Stand for Salmon initiative, and instead support a legislative approach to developing salmon habitat regulations.

According to the city’s attorney, Brooks Chandler, and Andrew Sayers-Fay, director of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Water Division, if Ballot Measure 1 is passed, the city of Soldotna would have to obtain a fish habitat protection permit from Alaska Department of Fish and Game to continue operating the city’s waste water treatment plant on top of the permit already requested through the Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.

“It is possible this was not the initiative sponsors’ intent,” wrote City Manager Stephanie Queen in a letter attached to the resolution. “However the rules and regulations required to implement the Act have not yet been written or defined by ADF&G, therefore the full and true impact to the City of Soldotna if the proposed law cannot be determined at this time.”

The proposed resolution acknowledges the importance of protecting salmon habitat and “encourages a Legislative public process as a better approach to developing new regulations for salmon protect, as it would allow more intense public input and review prior to adoption,” Queen’s letter states.

The council will vote on whether or not to oppose the “Stand for Salmon” initiative at their meeting tonight at 6 p.m. at Soldotna City Hall.