Seafood depends on healthy watersheds

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The health of our Southeast Alaska seafood industry depends on the health of Tongass watersheds. Our company is one of those businesses.

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Northern Keta Caviar Co. is located here in Juneau and has been in operation for 14 years.

Roughly 72 percent of all salmon in Southeast originate in watersheds that do not have roads. In the parts of the Tongass that have roads, there are more than a thousand culverts blocking fish passage. Restoration of those roads could re-establish salmon habitat and provide much-needed employment, if the Forest Service put money into it. I'd like to see much more money spent on this type of restoration.

The draft forest management plan out now for public comment states roads "pose the greatest risk to fish resources" but does not provide for restoration of the already existing roads. It even proposes more roads and timber sales in watersheds that are still intact and very important to us.

The Forest Service needs to know what healthy salmon means to people. We all know that healthy salmon habitat means a healthy forest. Please send comments to the Forest Service. For more information, visit the Forest Service Management Plan online.

Sissi Babich

Northern Keta Caviar Co.

Juneau



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