We are local Alaskan businesses who provide services on the Lower Kenai Peninsula and around Kachemak Bay. We are writing for two reasons.
First, we’re very concerned with the abbreviated timeline the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADFG) has put forward to consider changes to the ban on personal watercraft in Kachemak Bay. A thirty-day public comment period – falling in the middle of the December holiday season – makes it extremely difficult for us and our customers to weigh-in on this important matter. Accordingly, we request that you extend the public comment period to at least ninety days, and hold a public hearing in Homer, so local businesses and residents have ample opportunity to voice their opinions.
Second, we oppose any rollbacks to the current rule regarding personal watercraft in the Kachemak Bay Critical Habitat Area. Tourists and visitors come to Kachemak Bay to enjoy its natural values and to experience “the real Alaska.” Jetskis and other thrillcraft will erode that experience, threatening the jobs and revenues these visitor dollars drive into the local economy on the Lower Kenai Peninsula. Contrary to some beliefs, the inherent design and intended uses of personal watercraft make them very different than traditional boats and skiffs. Over 99% of Alaskan waters are open to personal watercraft, and it only makes sense to leave some areas protected, so Alaskans and tourists alike can enjoy the unique solitude and tranquility of Kachemak Bay.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter, and we look forward to your response.
The following local people and businesses:
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