New primary sponsor of Stand for Salmon’s ballot initiative replaces Brian Kraft

Dec 7, 2017

Stephanie Quinn-Davidson is now a sponsor for the Stand for Salmon ballot initiative, which aims to update state law related to salmon habitat protections. Brian Kraft announced three weeks ago that he would no longer sponsor the initiative.

Stephanie Quinn-Davidson is now a primary sponsor of the Stand for Salmon ballot initiative, which aims to update protections for salmon habitat provided by state law.
Credit Kerry Tasker

Nonprofit Stand for Salmon’s ballot initiative has lost one primary sponsor and gained another. The stated goal of the initiative is to update salmon habitat protections provided by state law.

Brian Kraft stepped down from the ballot committee three weeks ago. In a press release, he said that he needed to devote the substantial time he was spending on the initiative to his business and family. Kraft owns the Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge on the Kvichack River.

“This does not change my opinion that the state of Alaska needs to examine existing habitat permitting and protection for salmon rivers,” Kraft clarified.

Yes for Salmon, the group encouraging Alaskans to vote for the Stand for Salmon ballot initiative, announced Tuesday that Stephanie Quinn-Davidson would join Dillingham’s Gayla Hoseth and Mike Wood of Chase as a primary sponsor for the initiative.

Quinn Davidson holds a doctorate in freshwater ecology. She is the director of the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. She previously worked as a fisheries biologist on the Yukon River for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Stand for Salmon’s ballot initiative has run afoul of several regional corporations, including the Bristol Bay Native Corporation. Critics say that the provisions could be too far-reaching in the types of development it could block.

Supporters are collecting signatures, hoping to get the initiative on the ballot for next year. The initiative needs 32,127  signatures before the Alaska Legislature’s regular session starts in January in order to appear on the 2018 ballot.

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200.