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Tell DNR to Protect Our Water Rights!

Watershed Supporters - we need your voice! Tell the Dunleavy Administration to Protect our Rights for our Water and our Fisheries Every day we work to ensure that we can continue to live and thrive in and off of the Susitna River Watershed. We know that our fish, wildlife, and our communities need naturally flowing, clean, plentiful water in our streams and rivers. Unfortunately, the Dunleavy administration has quietly proposed new rules that will strip us of our limited rights to hold water reservations to protect our wild salmon. Tell Governor Dunleavy Not to Rollback Water Protection Regulations With all of the work that has been done to bring salmon back to the Mat-Su in recent years, these new changes, that make a bad system worse, are beyond frustrating. The proposed rules maintain the status quo for big outside corporations, who still get to take water OUT of our salmon streams at will - but limit our abilities to keep water for the resources we rely on. The Alaska Constitution states, “[w]herever occurring in their natural state, fish, wildlife, and waters are reserved to the people for common use.” Under the current system, which is already heavily weighted towards developers, a state or federal agency, and a person, Tribe or business may apply to reserve water in a stream for, among other things, the “protection of fish and wildlife habitat.” Dunleavy’s new rules will make it so that only DNR can hold this kind of water right, called an instream flow reservation, stripping that right away from Alaskans, Tribes, and businesses who depend on healthy fisheries. Tell Governor Dunleavy Not to Take Away our Rights to Protect our Water and Fisheries The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is responsible for deciding how water gets used and has the discretion to approve or deny applications to reserve water in streams to protect fish and wildlife habitat. Under an already cumbersome system to acquire instream flow protections and to reserve water for salmon, the Governor is working to make it even worse. Tell DNR to follow the State Constitution and create an automatic reservation of water in all rivers, streams, and lakes to protect fish and wildlife habitat. Alaska Native Tribes, businesses, and individuals who depend on healthy fisheries deserve the right to protect those resources by ensuring that enough water is always left in our rivers, streams, and lakes. Please contact DNR today through our form letter, or contact them directly with your own language and experience Thank You!

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