May 17, 2012 | Volume 42, No.20

Will borough act on heli-ski complaints?

I submitted complaints regarding heli-skiing outside allowed boundaries for March 19 and April 5, complete with photos showing helicopters and ski tracks, and signed statements from witnesses, including myself. Have SEABA or Alaska Heliskiing provided the borough with GPS data for these dates? If not, why not? The manager’s end of season report includes a letter from Scott Sundberg saying they would submit this as soon as their tech guy gets it together, or some similar excuse. He also cites a cornice collapse somewhere in the Haines Borough as a reason for them being approximately one mile outside their boundaries! The manager’s report also states that Mark Earnest is working with Takshanuk Watershed Council to verify the allegations. Has this been done? If not, why not? Anyone competent with GPS can do this job in minutes, and I know that Takshanuk has capable employees.

My concern is that another season will pass with unpunished violations and our borough manager will be out of here before the issue is resolved, or even addressed adequately. The issue will be swept under the rug and a new manager will be too befuddled to deal with it.

Eric Holle