I am writing to express how thoroughly disappointed I am by the amount of coverage you have given to the possible changes to DEC regulations on mixing zones. Salmon are the cornerstone of Southeast and the debate itself is of great importance to thousands of households whose livelihoods depend upon this resource.
Last night a public comment period was held in which people from around the state were invited to call in and give testimony. This meeting was very poorly advertised and was only attended by three individuals. I was informed of said meeting by a friend who was rushing to attend only to find there was no way for him to voice his comments in person.
As I waited to offer my opinion via telephone, I heard from individuals around the state but nothing from Southeast. In a place where development of the Kensington mine, building of the road, expansion of logging and promotion of Alaska's wild salmon products often come in conflict with one another, even the consideration of changes to the current standards of stream protection is of vital importance.
While it may be in the opinion of the DEC that changes will not lead to adverse results, much of our economy lies in the perception (bridges, for example) and to send a message that it is safe to relax the protection of our resources is harmful to our greatest sources of income, fishing and recreation. Please take this into consideration.
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