Those of us who live here and visit the Mat-Su know it’s a spectacular place: just beyond the shopping centers and neighborhoods lie forests of birch and spruce and expanses of tundra that ultimately rise up to the snowy elevations of Denali. In the Mat-Su, the magnitude of the landscape is matched only by the riches of its salmon streams.
Salmon numbers remain strong in most of the Mat-Su, but some declines in salmon returns are a sign that we are not immune to the pressures that wild salmon face elsewhere. Many of those pressures are due to the fact that the Mat-Su is the fastest growing region in the state.
Many of us seek a rural Alaska lifestyle, yet we need to be close to jobs. Human population growth has been spurred by the need for affordable housing and the desire for larger, more rural lots within driving distance of Anchorage, where half the population of Alaska lives.