July 5, 2012 | Volume 42, No.27

Speak out for, or against, Connelly Lake

To everyone in Haines who eats, catches or sells salmon, including subsistence, sport, charter, and commercial fishermen, and wildlife tour operators:

Haines residents who depend on salmon for their physical, financial, and/or spiritual well-being need to become educated about Alaska Power and Telephone’s proposed Connelly Lake hydroelectric project in the upper Chilkoot valley. AP&T is beginning the multi-year permitting process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and held its first public meeting at the ANB Hall on June 27. In order to protect your interests in salmon, you need to understand the potential impacts of AP&T’s project and then you need to make your “voice” heard whether in support or opposition.  

Contact AP&T at their office or online to read their draft plan. Go to the FERC’s website, www.ferc.gov to read the comments made to date by state and federal agencies and Haines residents. Many important questions and concerns raised by commentors can add to your understanding of the issues involved.

In the Chilkat Valley, a Canadian company is in the exploration phase of the development of the Constantine mine. This is another project whose potential impacts need to be understood by everyone who relies on salmon. 

The wild salmon runs in both the Chilkoot and the Chilkat valleys are irreplaceable, and each of us has a responsibility to ensure that the resources are protected for future generations. 

Katey Palmer