Ballot Measures and the tangled web of Alaskan politics
I was reading about Ballot Measure 4, which would require "legislative approval" of any large-scale metallic sulfide mine (apparently in order to protect salmon), and it got me wondering how our anti-gillnet Kenai Sportfishing Syndicate feels about this issue, seeing as many of them are deeply vested in and have been lobbying for Pebble for many years. How does this Ballot measure make them feel about resource allocation/management by ballot initiative?
It is one thing to support responsible resource development and the ballot initiative process. It is another thing entirely to support public resource management/allocation/(anti)development BY ballot initiative. In my opinion kind of like letting your kids choose their own bedtime if that makes sense...
What an interesting ideology, anyhow. On one side of the Cook Inlet, arguing for "conservation" of the mighty King by eliminating perfectly sustainable and historic user groups, and on the other side of the Inlet, arguing against virtually the same user group in order to advance resource development which may, if not done responsibly, endanger the very fish they claim to want to conserve...
Irony, hypocrisy, double-standards, exclusion...the exact things our state constitution, resource management, and fishery policies intended to avoid.
Alaska’s Constitution requires sustainable and responsible allocation of our fisheries for the benefit of all Alaskans, not just certain users hell-bent on eliminating other users. The Alaska Constitution also prohibits use of the initiative process for appropriations, including appropriations of our fishery resources, which is the very principle that fishery management via ballot box and public emotion attempts to erode. Biological management and established fishery policy will mean nothing, and go by the wayside in lieu of public emotion.
Word is, if banning setnetting is allowed on a ballot, then it will set precedence for banning any fishery by ballot, starting with the Kenai River King sport fishery. AFCA is creating their own monster - the pendulum always swings, and what goes around comes around.