February 8, 2011

Fish hatchery member calls for preserving key environmental protection

Jed Varney, a Fish and Wildlife health specialist and member of statewide Fish Hatchery Local 2964, called on lawmakers to preserve the “hydraulic project approval (HPA)” process and charge users for the process that benefits natural resources.

The HPA process requires approval for any project that will use, divert, obstruct or change the natural flow or bed of any salt or fresh waters in the state.

He urged the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee to reject HB 1233 that would do away with the hydraulic project approval process. But he urged passage of HB 1588 to charge fees.

“The HPA process does the job to protect the habitat for those salmon runs and fish runs….,” Varney testified. “And in order to continue to do this, we need to make sure that there’s habitat for the fish to spawn in, that there’s habitat for them to return to.

“And with the development and everything that’s going on in the state, it’s vital.”

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