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

We're at a crossraods


May 24, 2018

The mining and logging proposals being talked about seem to be nothing more than corporate welfare. Non-local corporations come to rural areas for a “project” on public land where the government lets them make a huge profit by removing non-renewable resources for pennies on the dollar (welfare). A few locals might get work for a few years, in a dead-end job, but only if the jobs aren’t automated before it’s over. After a few years they leave us with the land, water and fish in need of serious repair. We’ll ask the government to fix it, if it can be fixed, with our taxes (more welfare). The ecosystem will never really recover.

Non-local extraction industries have a terrible record for keeping the environment healthy. I do not wish to see our forest clear cut, or a mine to endanger our remaining fish. This valley is priceless and the jobs that we “desperately” want should be created around sustainable “projects” that enhance our lives.

In 1982, John Naisbitt wrote “Megatrends” and predicted that most of us would need to be retrained every 7-10 years because of mechanization and technology. Most Americans would increasingly seek places (like Haines) to get away from their busy, noisy lives.

We live in a small town but are part of a big world. Our valley is at a crossroads. Tier 3 is a good thing in the long run. The Mayor and assembly are the caretakers of our land and people. Please choose wisely.

Paul Swanstrom


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