Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

Editorial

 


Fall fishing in Haines is a long tradition and growing attraction. We can make it just right by addressing basic needs.

Garbage cans and restrooms are needed at least seasonally between town and 10 Mile Haines Highway. Coordination between Haines Borough and state agencies should be aimed at keeping Chilkoot Lake campground open and clean through late October.

This stuff is doable, but will require leadership from local government, business and tribal leaders, a few meetings and phone calls, and some cash. That shouldn’t be too tall an order.

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Without intercession by the Haines Borough, the discussion of public access to local beaches and waterways is creating unnecessary strife between residents.

Beachfront private property has been snatched up in recent years, including land that’s been popular for boating, fishing and other uses. At Viking Cove and Lutak Inlet this spring, traditional users and new landowners faced off. Conflict in the future, at other locations, seems likely.

Borough maps show Viking Cove to be ringed with private lots, including beachside property. Other than arriving by boat, it appears there’s no way to reach the cove without trespassing.

The state of Hawaii confronted this issue decades ago, purchasing strips of land so all residents could legally access public beaches. The borough may have to consider similar measures. A start would be identifying high-use beaches.

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Hats off to local volunteers and advocates who are building a Scout camp and destination on Mount Riley. What has been built is impressive. It’s a credit to local advocates that Alaska Scouting officials are planning to build more.

-- Tom Morphet