If salmon are marketed, they need protection

Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Gov. Murkowski has announced the state is spending millions of dollars to promote marketing of our wild salmon. Declaring that the environment where our fish are reared is clean and pure is key in the promotion. Consumers should feel confident when they buy Alaska salmon, they are buying a product that is pure and free of harmful chemicals.

Given DEC has published proposed regulations that will allow aerial spraying of pesticides as a forestry management tool, is this marketing campaign one of sheer hype?

Thousands of acres of state and private lands could be susceptible to ravages of a chemical fog sprayed from above. Research has shown that once unleashed, these chemicals drift and percolate hundreds of feet from the targeted sites, invading lakes and streams and contaminating our salmon.

If these rules are adopted, we can no longer declare our environment clean and free of harmful chemicals. If pesticides are used near salmon streams, consumers will no longer look to Alaska as providing a pure fish product. So much for our pristine environment and so much for the pure Alaska product consumers are demanding.

Write the governor. Tell him to put his mouth were his money is. Tell him it is inconsistent to spend millions of dollars promoting our pure salmon and at the same time, allowing tons of pesticides to be sprayed on the forests.

Write to DEC. Tell them aerial application of pesticides is unacceptable as a forestry management tool. Tell them that any time a pesticide is used it must conform to the strictest of standards.

DEC closes the comment period on the proposed regulations on May 1. Your comments can be e-mailed to Kimberly Stryker at DEC. Kimberly_strker@dec.state.ak.us.

Clay Frick

Port Alexander

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