Protecting Fish Habitat and Drinking Water

Protecting Fishing Streams in Southeast Alaska

Protecting Fishing Streams in Southeast Alaska

In January 2015, I pre-filed a bill to restore a public process to state pesticide spraying programs and add protections for fish habitat and drinking water. HB 53 addresses concerns about the application of pesticides and broadcast chemicals in certain public places near fish habitat or water used for human consumption and on state-owned land, land leased by or to the state, state highways, and state-owned rights-of-way.

The bill will reinstate a public-input process before the Department of Transportation is allowed to spray pesticides or herbicides along the state highways on Prince of Wales Island – an issue of most concern to the residents of Hydaburg. The bill is the result of grassroots efforts in Southeast Alaska where at least eight municipalities, including Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka, and Haines, along with three tribes and the Prince of Wales Community Advisory Council, have passed resolutions or written letters asking for restoration of a public process or opposing pesticide use altogether.