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

Debris disposal raises questions


May 10, 2018

Considering the contentious issues and sensitive conversations regarding the Chilkat River and the valley, as a whole, it would seem a discerning choice that Alaska Division of Parks would not exercise an option like dumping debris into the Chilkat River; unfortunately, that is what has happened. A recent clearing project at the 19.5-mile Council Grounds Eagle Interpretive Area, falling under the jurisdiction of Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks, has disposed of a substantial quantity of brush and logs into the Chilkat River along approximately 400 feet of river bank. Not only a bad idea and a careless practice, the methods of this action cannot reasonably support an argument for fish habitat; at a minimum, the debris has all potential of creating headaches heading for subsistence and commercial nets alike.

Chilkat Tribal Elders are also concerned about such practices; and additionally, Chilkat Indian Village Administration is mindful of this matter. Division of Parks is aware of the issue; they have been called on it, and appear to acknowledge the mistake. On May 2nd, there was a Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee meeting; hopefully, this matter had been discussed and a resolution proposed in that forum. A public statement from Travis Russell, Division of Parks (766-2292), containing the following information seems prudent: What is Division of Parks plan for clean-up? What’s the timeline for the clean-up? What will be the management control ensuring that a conscientious plan is adhered to? Spring run-off will have waters rising soon.

Alan Jones


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