Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 64

Thread: 'Death by a Thousand Cuts'

  1. #1

    Default 'Death by a Thousand Cuts'

    There are known factors that can be acted on:

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/articl...salmon-habitat

  2. #2
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    5,639

    Thumbs down Problem . . what problem . . ?

    Thanks for posting . . good article:

    . . Cook Inletkeeper, a community-based non-profit organization with a mission to protect the habitat of Cook Inlet, now claims the symposium failed to address the loss and degradation of freshwater habitat as a factor contributing to diminished wild Alaska salmon runs.
    One need only read the comments on the thread "Kenai Watershed Forum Study" here on this forum to understand the frustration of those concerned about the degradation of freshwater salmon habitat. No sooner does a group like Kenai Watershed Forum or Cook Inletkeeper raise a concern than it's immediately pooh-poohed as irrelevant or the overreaction of eco-freaks.

    The article quoted Dr. David Montgomery. Here's another quote from Montgomery:

    "Though the fate of salmon rests in human hands, it is not clear that we will be able to save them even if our society wants to. Part of the problem lies in the conflict between the inherent uncertainty of the natural sciences and the certainty demanded by policy makers when balancing natural resource protection against economic opportunities."

    King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon, Montgomery, Westview Press, 2003
    There will always be some for whom economic opportunity outweighs the protection of our natural resources.

  3. #3
    Member AKArcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    688

    Default DNR forcing their hand...

    Thank you 68 for posting this link... It falls in line with what I said just a few days ago.... Here, the DNR is furthering their resource extraction agenda.
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

  4. #4

    Default

    Having fought for fish and wildlife habitat in the Knik Watershed for a quarter century (with yet only a smidgen of success - not enough to reach sustainability, as it is still obviously degrading); I am most weary of the known factors not being appropriately addressed, as well as the politics of special interests. It will bug me eternally. The low level of education and responsibility prevalent is baffling.

    Glad you both are pleased with the posting and article - you are welcome.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,448

    Default

    A few feet of stream here and there, a dam here and there. a mine here and a loss of habitat here and you have California. It will happen one inch at a time and EVERY inch of salmon stream should be treasured and protected or soon it will all go away and with it a national treasure.

  6. #6
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,749

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 68 Bronco View Post
    I am most weary of the known factors not being appropriately addressed, as well as the politics of special interests. It will bug me eternally.
    As far as I'm concerned, as a whole, special interest groups are what's killing this country...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  7. #7
    Member AKArcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    688

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    As far as I'm concerned, as a whole, special interest groups are what's killing this country...!!!
    Agreed. 100%
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    fishhook, ak
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    Sorry for the slight tangent bronco, but since it keeps being commented on...

    Q for the last few posters: What do you propose as an alternative to special interest groups? monarchy? dictatorship?

    Democracy at its core IS special interest groups (also known as factions). Look back to the founding of the United States...

    We can dislike the policies promoted by groups that we disagree with, and try to do something about it. I won't hesitate to point out that it is frustrating when groups I see as short-sighted and selfish dominate public policies, but try and recognize that if you have ever attended a public meeting, then you were there as a special interest...

    What you don't like I suspect is the way that politicians seem to cave to particular interest groups with selfish agendas to the detriment of the public at large, and if that's the case I am right there with you.

  9. #9
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,749

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by andweav View Post
    What you don't like I suspect is the way that politicians seem to cave to particular interest groups with selfish agendas to the detriment of the public at large, and if that's the case I am right there with you.
    Agreed.......that's exactly what I meant and was going to elaborate but got busy and had to leave the computer.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  10. #10
    Member AKArcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    688

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by andweav View Post

    What you don't like I suspect is the way that politicians seem to cave to particular interest groups with selfish agendas to the detriment of the public at large, and if that's the case I am right there with you.
    Yes!! However I would say the politicians/appointed officials don't cave blindly, they make decisions that set them & theirs up for the bigger piece of the pie. What angers me to the core is that they do it at the expense of this State and its amazing renewable resources.
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,448

    Default

    We are the ones who put politicians in office. If they dont do what we want them to then fire them by voting in a person who will. We the people can elect ones who will protect our streams and resources. Pebble is a HUGE threat to Bristol Bay but what have any of us done to protect the salmon. We watch and complain but we need to get active on some of these issues.

  12. #12

    Default

    Yes, being active is essential.
    If we don't speak up, we lose, the habitat and our grandchildren lose. Even though I have been as active as my survival will allow, doing USFWS grant work, heading a watershed group, going to Juneau, taking folks into the field, documenting, giving presentations, financing my efforts, etc. - the real disgust settles in when people do not follow the in-place rules and plans. I have documented enough of this to make you sick.

    I am speaking of downright dishonesty here that shapes policy issues through 'buddy-systems' on many levels. Morality takes a backseat, both on personal levels, as in individuals and groups lying to get what they want, as well as at agency and government levels enabling such behavior. Yes, voting is perhaps one's only recourse, but moves issues so slowly that the damages outpace.
    Moral decline is an ominous enemy.

  13. #13
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    Humans are the least needed creature on earth to keep the circle going.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  14. #14
    Member bushrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Now residing in Fairbanks from the bush
    Posts
    4,363

    Default

    Well, I certainly agree with Montgomery, the state can't turn a blind eye to habitat loss and degradation. What I have seen though is that our population as a whole, and many within the various agencies, have the view that Alaska is just so dang big, we have so much country and habitat, that it's okay to lose little bits of it, and/or that degradation in some areas like KRPUA just can't be stopped, we'll have to live with it.

    Tis true the only constant is change, and as our state grows we're going to see more of it and more habitat loss and degradation.

    Getting active, as Robert has done, has sure taught me a lot. Sadly it's made me more cynical though. We continue to vote in pols who don't really have the best interests of the citizens in mind. Or for that matter the salmon. In turn we get appointments to head various agencies who work to further the agenda of whomever appointed them. Politics has infiltrated everything at levels that I don't know how we can ever fix things. Look no further for proof than DNR Commish Sullivan's attempted out-of-the-blue change to DNR's mission statement last winter. Gone were the words "conserve" and "enhance," leaving only the word "develop" in how DNR viewed our natural resources.

    ADFG and DNR have really been hurt by politicization and it's a shame our system allows for it to go on. Things have gotten so bad that the current administration views science as opinion only. Always having two sides. Their side, and the other side <grin>. So then everything is predetermined. A Susitna/Watana dam is okay because we know that we can get some "science" to say so. Studies show that a strip mine right within a salmon bearing tributary of the Chuitna does not pose long-term negatives for the fish. Studies will prove that a Pebble mine will not necessarily pose a threat to the future of Bristol Bay salmon stocks. Mixing zones are a-okay. Etc etc.

    The thousand cuts are coming fast and furious now, I hope more Alaskans wake up to that fact.

  15. #15
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    Alaska is the last American place for the Hykos to take.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  16. #16
    Member AKArcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    688

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Well, I certainly agree with Montgomery, the state can't turn a blind eye to habitat loss and degradation. What I have seen though is that our population as a whole, and many within the various agencies, have the view that Alaska is just so dang big, we have so much country and habitat, that it's okay to lose little bits of it, and/or that degradation in some areas like KRPUA just can't be stopped, we'll have to live with it.

    Tis true the only constant is change, and as our state grows we're going to see more of it and more habitat loss and degradation.

    Getting active, as Robert has done, has sure taught me a lot. Sadly it's made me more cynical though. We continue to vote in pols who don't really have the best interests of the citizens in mind. Or for that matter the salmon. In turn we get appointments to head various agencies who work to further the agenda of whomever appointed them. Politics has infiltrated everything at levels that I don't know how we can ever fix things. Look no further for proof than DNR Commish Sullivan's attempted out-of-the-blue change to DNR's mission statement last winter. Gone were the words "conserve" and "enhance," leaving only the word "develop" in how DNR viewed our natural resources.

    ADFG and DNR have really been hurt by politicization and it's a shame our system allows for it to go on. Things have gotten so bad that the current administration views science as opinion only. Always having two sides. Their side, and the other side <grin>. So then everything is predetermined. A Susitna/Watana dam is okay because we know that we can get some "science" to say so. Studies show that a strip mine right within a salmon bearing tributary of the Chuitna does not pose long-term negatives for the fish. Studies will prove that a Pebble mine will not necessarily pose a threat to the future of Bristol Bay salmon stocks. Mixing zones are a-okay. Etc etc.

    The thousand cuts are coming fast and furious now, I hope more Alaskans wake up to that fact.
    Well said Mark.

    I know a few scientists and biologists who have spent a greater part of their career in Alaska studying and documenting the Salmon Tribs that are on the "hot topic menu". It's my opinion that their science should be strongly considered when decisions about ecology changing events such as the harvesting of earthen minerals are being made. Through personal conversations...not first hand observations, I have learned that their science is being trumped by "outside agency funded science" that has been modeled after 6 months - 2 years of data. How can this be? How can the decision makers morally decide that science based on 5+ years of data, which was obtained and documented without an agenda; be trumped by agenda driven science?

    Simple. Power and money which are the key ingredients to a politicians career.

    I also find it amazing that folks don't see the fact that the Commercial against Non-Commercial Users feuding keeps the focus off what is happening. It is the DNR's and anyone else for that matter dream situation to have all parties AFFECTED by their changes to be focused on "other factors" such as how many Kings didn't make it up the Kenai in 2012.

    Like Mark said, the idea that "One small river drainage here won't matter, or one stand of forest over there won't mater; Alaska is a huge state" is narrow minded. They do in fact matter, for multiple reasons. Not just the individual impact, but the precedence it has set (similar to case law) for future decisions. " Well we put a culvert in those salmon streams two/four/six/eight years ago and nothing has happened, why can't we do the same for this one?"

    So the invaluable question is... How do we remove the power to make these decisions from the people (politicians and special interest groups) who currently have most of the power and a $h!t ton of money and ensure that our State Constitution is followed?

    Mark, regarding becoming cynical... I agree, but I also find that coming to the table without fact/knowledge is what got us here in the first place. People have chosen to be consumed in their little worlds without regard to whats happening in the big picture. I may be cynical at times as well, but my passion for this resource is too strong to stop now, and knowledge is never a bad thing.
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

  17. #17
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    5,639

    Question Om the other hand . . .

    For the sake of discussion, let me play Devil's Advocate here:

    We all would like to think our kids and grandkids will be able to live in Alaska, find good jobs, prosper, and raise families of their own, but how is that to happen? Agriculture opened the lower 48 to settlement, what will open Alaska if not resource development?

    What is our intent? To keep Alaska locked up, pristine, unsettled, and undeveloped? No coal mines, no hydroelectric, no gold mines? No nothing? If that's our intent, what can the future hold?

    Can we develop Alaska's resources and do it sanely? Are we even willing to see development anywhere?

    Well . . .

  18. #18
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Willow, AK
    Posts
    3,365

    Default

    I was out of state so missed the symposium. I'm guessing that in lack of discussion of habitat degredation, human caused, there was also little discussion of degredation that is naturally caused. There is a huge body of knowledge that is missing in regard to the overall effects of massive flooding in salmon rivers. It is an event that disrupts the food chain from the bottom up. With river bottoms torn up, deposited elsewhere, new channels dug, silt, gravel and woody debris moved all over, what are the short and long term effects on spawning effort and success?

    Currently management is based predominately on how many salmon get into the rivers. It does very little about what happens once the salmon get there; one pair of salmon spawning in ideal conditions is far more valuable than 100 pairs that are unable to spawn due to adverse in river conditions, but the salmon are managed under the assumption that if x number of salmon pass the weirs, then y number of salmon will return to the rivers in later years as a result. We need to be able to build better models based on the river as it is that year, acknowledging that there are many things that affect spawning success and smolt survival, both in river and in ocean.

    Some studies that could happen to help shed light on this: How does smolt weight for smolts that normally overwinter in the rivers compare in springs following a large flood event vs average years? What is their survival rate? What is the insect count in rivers after they've flooded out vs following a normal fall water cycle? What is the health of inriver resident species, as far as weight and fat content, on average, in springtime? Does it change following a heavy salmon return year, and average water levels, vs a heavy salmon return year with extreme flooding conditions, or low salmon return in average waters and low salmon return with high waters? Does it remain constant year in and year out?

  19. #19

    Default

    First - A Big Thanks! to moderators for cleaning the thread so that we remain on topic.
    Second - I am appreciating the contributions. Important considerations are being brought forth.

    Marcus, totally fair question on the 'Devil's Advocate' post and discussion is needed in that realm. I have my own thoughts and will get some in.

    Willfish4food, very good list of questions - pertinent not only to flooding events and in-stream flow, but important to seek good answers when altering flows with dams. Normal spring break-ups and side channel hydrology effects are factors effected. Overwintering knowledge needs augmented. By example, there is speculation missing fish from the Matanuska watershed may be overwintering in Jim Swan Wetlands of the Knik Watershed.

    Disclaimer: I am merely a layman, and hope for more qualified knowledge to be shared.

    Speaking of which: this symposium, the Mat Su Salmon and Science Conservation Symposium is examining much in depth each year - including habitat degradation by humans. At the web site is posted a wealth of information -

    http://conserveonline.org/workspaces/MatSuSalmon

    The 2012 Presentations are not yet posted but will be up soon, I am sure. The agenda was posted. You may view many presentations from the past years. (My own presentation for Knik River Watershed Group in 2009 is there. Slides only - verbal presentation I have in print.) I missed this year, after a good run of attending. I did not get the energy up to build a new presentation, primarily because my 2009 presentation is still basically pertinent - and frankly, I suffer burnout after so many 'beatings'.
    I may have more to offer next year.
    Note that USFWS has been in the Knik watershed for the past two seasons. They have added significantly to F&G's anadromous fish catalog and this year delved into an "Inventory of Salmon and Off-road Vehicle Trail Distribution in the Knik River Public Use Area".
    Some of you may be familiar with that Symposium, if not, have a look.

    At http://knikriver.org/ you may download copies of the USFWS grant work I participated in. IMO, the personnel cutbacks they are now facing facing will be a big loss to Alaska. They have been a huge contributor to knowledge !

    Enjoy your day tomorrow!

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,448

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    For the sake of discussion, let me play Devil's Advocate here:

    We all would like to think our kids and grandkids will be able to live in Alaska, find good jobs, prosper, and raise families of their own, but how is that to happen? Agriculture opened the lower 48 to settlement, what will open Alaska if not resource development?

    What is our intent? To keep Alaska locked up, pristine, unsettled, and undeveloped? No coal mines, no hydroelectric, no gold mines? No nothing? If that's our intent, what can the future hold?

    Can we develop Alaska's resources and do it sanely? Are we even willing to see development anywhere?

    Well . . .
    Marcus
    Good questions! There is more than one side to any issue and you did a great job for pointing that out. Decisions will have to be made, that is for sure. One thing to always remember is that once you go down a path its hard to turn around. Once a river is destroyed its very very hard to ever get it back. Also how much are you willing to wager? For example, with Pebble there will be waste dumps that will be there forever. Should a disaster happen and we loose the salmon was it worth it? Are we willing to wager the biggest salmon run in the US that supports many many people? As with any wager you have to be prepared to loose it. With some bets the stakes are just too high. While mines in some places may be just fine they are not it other areas in my opinion. The wager is just too high. I would not be willing to ante up Bristol bay sockeye in any bet. There are NO sure ways to prevent a disaster. An earthquake of unheard of proportions and now we have breaches in containment pits and such and we have a disaster that cant be cleaned up. Was it worth the wager?? One does have to think it worst case scenarios as time and again they do happen. Look at Japan and the nuclear incedent. It can and will happen. Now what? was it worth it?

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •