Cathryn Coats to be on the Island Answering Questions on Proposition 1 [Sunday October 7th] - P.O.W. Report

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Cathryn Coats to be on the Island Answering Questions on Proposition 1 [Sunday October 7th]

She will be at Thompson House Sunday 11-3
The Klawock Market 3:30-6pm.
And will drive the north end Monday

Cathryn Coats wrote in to POW Report:

My name is Cathryn Coats, I grew up in Craig, moved to Ketchikan for High School, then joined the USAF. After my 5 years in the service, I moved back to Ketchikan and started my family with a fisherman who fishes the West Coast year-round. I have been traveling with him raising our son, but recently settled down in Ketchikan when our son became school-aged. I finished me bachelor’s degree at UAS Ketchikan, using my GI Bill. I began volunteering this summer for the Stand For Salmon Initiative and was hired by Cook Inletkeeper as a Coastal Community Outreach Coordinator, with a mission of drinkable, fishable, swimmable water for all southern Southeast, Alaska communities.

Right now I am passionately spreading awareness--that Alaskans have spoken up about--on the major threats of outside corporations coming into our state and threatening our way of life without being held to certain standards--our constitution was not specific enough on protection measures during statehood. Now we have new major threats and science-based methodology in ensuring proper protection of anadromous freshwater habitat.

The goal of proposition 1 is to balance habitat protection (lakes, rivers, streams where anadromous fish spawn and are reared before going to the ocean) with responsible development. This means holding huge outside corporations accountable for protection, mitigation procedures, and financial accountability during major projects so they cannot make a mess and leave Alaskan taxpayers to foot the cleanup bill (example, Washington State’s $5.5 million effort to fix their issues with salmon runs).

We also are ensuring the people who could be effected can have a public notice period. Because of my experience in military service, I am capable and confident when reading and explaining Proposition 1 to Alaskans; as well as assisting them in making an informed decision so they can use their voting power. The initiative was put on the ballot because of the neglect by the state to address the problems after years of attempts by fishermen and other concerned Alaskans. This is the first step of my involvement in the Salmon Movement, in which I will be working towards ensuring my son’s generation and future generations have WILD Alaskan salmon.

Proposition 1 in Full: 

An act providing for the protection of wild salmon and fish and wildlife habitat.

This act would amend Alaska’s fish habitat permitting law. The act would require the Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) to apply new standards to permitting activities and development projects that have the potential to harm fish habitat. The act would exempt existing projects, operations, or facilities that have received all state and federal permits until a new permit is needed. The act would create fish and wildlife habitat-protection standards. The standards would address water quality, temperature, streamflow, and more. The act defines “anadromous fish habitat.” The act would allow ADF&G to apply the law to all habitat in Alaska that directly or indirectly supports salmon or other anadromous fish. The act would provide for three types of permits for development in anadromous fish habitat. ADF&G could issue a general permit—a single permit that applies to many people—for certain activities. For other activities that require a permit, the act would establish a two-track permitting system. Minor permits would be issued for activities that have little impact on fish habitat. Major permits would be issued for projects that have the potential to cause significant adverse effects on fish habitat. The act defines “significant adverse effects.” The act would require ADF&G to avoid or minimize adverse effects through mitigation measures and permit conditions. It would provide public notice on all permits and a chance to comment on major permits. The act would create criteria, timeframes, and an appeals process for the permits by interested persons. The act would allow ADF&G to respond to specified conduct with tickets, civil fines, or criminal penalties. The act would repeal two current statutes. One is regarding mitigation from a dam. The other is regarding criminal penalties that are addressed elsewhere.
August 16, 2018 – Post Supreme Court Decision

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