Thank you for your continued support.
RECAP: West Su Access Phase III MOU at the MSB Assembly
We were blown away by the strong show of support last night. Thank you to all that burned the midnight oil to testify by phone, email and in person at the Mat Su Borough Assembly meeting. We appreciate you staying late into the night to make sure that your voice was heard by our representatives.
Your testimony was passionate, thoughtful, and compelling, highlighting the many reasons that we are so devoted to keeping the West Susitna drainage free of a 450 million dollar private industrial road, bisecting the Western Susitna drainage, disrupting valuable fish and wildlife habitat, and ending at an Australian owned gold mine.
In total, 35 people testified against the adoption of Phase III. Nine, predominantly industry associated individuals-- though they did no identify themselves as such, testified in favor.
Your testimony made an impact. There was a great deal of discussion including the potential of giving no support, and putting an end to this rediculous process. If this would have occurred, the $50,000 from MSB budget could have been returned to the general fund and the $8.5 million allocated to AIDEA would have been returned to the state general fund for far more useful projects. This option was supported by Tim Hale who felt that because of the entire lack of outreach that AIDEA has done so far, they did not earn the support of the Borough.
Unfortunately, the Mat Su Borough Assembly voted in favor of a plan that will require that the Borough conduct outreach at the same time AIDEA moves forward with their plan toward permitting. Unfortunately, any outreach the Borough gathers will be too late to influence any of AIDEA's work.
While this is discouraging, we were not surprised by the Assembly vote. This is the beginning of a long term fight against this development project. Please work with us as we fight another bad project with the unreliable partner of AIDEA.
Keep your eyes peeled for more opportunities to get involved. Your voice will remain an important tool in this process, and we are so grateful to have your support as we move forward together.
A Susitna Year in Review:
Wetlands, Recreation Rivers, Speaker Series & More!
2021 has certainly been unique, but that hasn't stopped the Susitna River Coalition from monitoring the issues in the Susitna Watershed and providing educational programs to share the voices in our community. So what exactly have we been up to in 2021?
We kicked off the year by voicing strong support in the important effort to adopt a Supplemental Wetlands Mitigation Ordinance for the Mat Su Borough. We also published our first annual Wild Su Feast Cookbook featuring delicious recipes from our community like porcupine sausage, morel cream sauce, and creme de cassis. (P.S.-- keep your eyes peeled for the 2nd annual Wild Su Feast Cookbook in 2022). Throughout the year, we hosted a wide range of speaker series events highlighting individuals living and working in our our Watershed and their experiences. They discussed everything from farming peonies in bush Alaska, to ecological micro-hydro power to how the watershed inspires our community artists. In addition, the Susitna River Coalition got involved with MEA utility elections to increase the role of ecological power in our communities and encouraging our local co-op to adopt affordable and clean energy. We played an active part on the steering committee for the Mat Su Salmon Partnership including presenting in the Mat-Su Salmon Science and Conservation Symposium. A busy legislative session brought up a series of important land bills to monitor including Senate Bill 97 which sought to repeal the Susitna Basin Recreation Rivers Plan as well as the state's allocation of $8.5 million of your taxpayer dollars to the West Susitna Access Road. Wrapping up the year, we are devoted to monitoring Recreation Rivers protectionsand the newly formed Recreation Rivers advisory board, and will devote our time to closely following the process and educating the public on the proposed West Susitna Access road. It is shaping up to be an even bigger year in 2022 with the Mat Su Borough approving Phase III of West Susitna Access. We are so grateful to have this strong community that supports our work and is passionate about preserving this unique and vibrant watershed together. We've tackled a lot this year, please support our work and your watershed by making an end of year donation.
End of Year Support
Listening to the testimony of many in our community to the Assembly on the 21st, the reasons why we tirelessly pursue this work was clearly on display. We, the staff and board of the Susitna River Coalition, love our home. We are passionate about preserving this landscape complete with its unique lifestyles, hunting and fishing opportunities, fish and wildlife habitat, sustainable natural resources, and recreational activities.
We are passionate about protecting this landscape and making sure that your voices are heard. But we couldn't do this without YOU.
As the year comes to a close, please consider making a donation to our grassroots organization and help our efforts.