An assembly member once commented that Haines was doing fine with just tourism and fishing, that logging and mining were just “boom and bust” industries. She didn’t know loggers were in their 35th year of a 50-year timber contract before Clinton canceled their contract, or that the two Juneau mines both operated two shifts for over 20 years each, or that Prudhoe Bay has been mining oil for 40 years, for the foreseeable future! All high-paying, double shift, year-round jobs! The Kensington mine is also likely to make 20 years. All of these mines are underground, hard rock mines. Their non-toxic waste rock can be reused for dams, dikes, road beds or made into asphalt. None of these mines has ever had a conflict with any fisheries. Simply put: miners don’t kill fish, fishermen do! Dire predictions to the contrary are pure speculative fear-mongering aimed at the naïve and ill-informed. Trying to stigmatize Constantine as a foreign company is disgraceful, disgusting and un-Alaskan. We share a common border, language, and ancestry with Canada. They are our allies, friends, neighbors, and business partners. They were invaluable partners in building the Alcan Highway and in ending WWII. I helped service two remote Canadian gold mines 60 miles up the Stikine River for years.

By September the tourist season is done, the fishing season is done, and Haines is done. That’s a description of a real “boom and bust” industry. 4 months versus 12 months! High pay versus low pay!

Dave Werner