Better methods to encourage habitat protection available

Beginning with an external review dated June 30, 2009, authored by Mr. Lawrence R. Heath, who was contracted by the Kenai Watershed Forum through the use of public AWCA grant funds administered by Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. The Kenai Peninsula Borough has been up to its arm pits in habitat anadramous ordinances. What started with KPB 2011-12 under the Carey administration and now KPB 2013-28 of the Navarre administration and the habitat anadramous task force, the supporters of zoning private property have been trying to tie this to fish. As an advocate of restoring habitat with more than 20 years of past experience in doing so, long before any of the folks now involved in these ordinances ever took interest, I call foul when I smell foul. KPB 2011-12 and KPB 2013-18 require policing enforcement which the borough does not have, or it requires neighbor to turn against neighbor by turning your neighbor in to the Kenai River Center.

Understand ADF&G has no interest in managing secondary arterial streams like Bishop Creek here on the Kenai Peninsula because of lack of funding and importance. No studies or warnings have been noticed or conducted on these small streams or lakes to identify if there are negative impacts. The only studies that ADF&G have all got shot down and debunked, so they try to compare these streams to the Columbia River, While ADF&G’s own 309 habitat study and King study was blasted by its own department.

If we wish to protect habitat and I think we all do? You must first promote stewardship and bring everyone together for the same purpose. The Streamwatch program could do this along with tax incentives for property owners who through ADF&G approved methods protect their habitat shorelines. That’s stewardship and that works, using the force of law without enforcement and being reactionary in the process just grows more jobs for government employees and bigger tax burden on property owners. Having restored a great many miles of habitat worked on numerous streams in south central Alaska and being named NOAA’s environmental Hero means nothing compared to the efforts we could all accomplish by rolling up our selves and working together to protect habitat instead of telling the public to “pay attention” and accusing people that they don’t care about fish or that they are just being a bully. Really is that all you got? I’ve been part of planting more than 200,000 willows for fish and wildlife are you ready get be a part of that?

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