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

Letters to the Editor


September 13, 2018

The bear foundation is volunteer driven

I would like to clarify some misinformation about the Alaska Chilkoot Bear Foundation found in Mr. Lari’s recent letter to the editor.

He applauds Mr. Motes “… for exposing the action of the Alaska Chilkoot Bear Foundation and its employees.” ACBF has no employees. It is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization in existence since 2006. Another quote “…the bear foundation have one interest: money.” He refers to our clients. ACBF has no clients. Our mission is to ensure bears and people continue to thrive in the Chilkoot for generations to come.

We have worked for more than a decade spending donations freely given to the organization from people of the community, nation, and world to support our mission. That includes funding interpretive signs, buying bear proof trash/recycle containers for the community, purchasing loaner electric fences donated to ADF&G for public use (I believe Mr. Lari used one), granting more than $8000 for studies of bears in the Chilkoot, working closely with Alaska State Parks on solutions to problems in the corridor, sharing information with the public on how to live responsibly in bear country, training local guides on good practices when bringing people to the Chilkoot, donating to the cost of electrifying the dump, and more.

All of that, a 100 percent volunteer effort, with not a penny going to board or volunteers. Please be sure of your information before you disparage a local nonprofit all-volunteer organization like the Alaska Chilkoot Bear Foundation.

Tim McDonough

ACBF Treasurer

Thanks for Anway cabin restoration help

We would like to thank so very much the 80 plus volunteers, including two groups from Echo Ranch Bible Camp and the summer SAIL workers, who helped with the restoration of the Historic Charles Anway cabin over this past summer. Donating hundreds and hundreds of hours in time and use of tools and equipment, they painted, restored Charlie’s barn-like woodshed, worked with artifacts, did yard and garden work, hauled debris, moved rock and gravel, repaired ice and water damage, made posters and did all sorts of little and large jobs inside and out that took the project, with leaps and bounds closer to completion. Thank you all.

Sue Chasen, CVHS President

Cynthia Jones, Anway committee chair

Pebble and Constantine bring hope

About six years ago two mineral discoveries brought great hope to two depressed economies in Alaska. One was the Pebble discovery 100 miles inland from Bristol Bay, the other was the Constantine discovery 30 miles west of Haines. Both in remote areas. Bristol Bay was dependent on a short, highly competitive fishing season from outside limited entry holders. Good paying year-round jobs from a Pebble Mine could solve their problem. Similar to what the Red Dog Mine did for Kotzebue. Haines was also dependent on a short fishing and tourist season after the collapse of the Southeast timber industry fostered by the environmental movement. Likewise, good paying year-round mine jobs could solve our problem. Then a mine accident in B.C. from a muddy water settling pond breach sent a flood of muddied water down a small creek and into a large, deep, sockeye spawning lake just after the spawn. Immediately the environmentalists declared it a fishing disaster and wanted the mine closed. Their government disagreed. Within a year the creek and settling pond were repaired, and the 350 miners spared. More good news, the affected sockeye of the 2014 spawn just completed their four-year cycle at near record levels. But, another disaster for environmental predictions.

Dave Werner

Thanks for support and generosity

Thank you to Pastor McCoy and family, the SEARCH doctors, the ambulance crew, the police, the Bartlett Hospital doctors, the Bartlett House, the American Legion and all those who have given cards, money, and have otherwise reached out to the Richard Gene Clark family. We appreciate each act of generosity and support during the time of the loss of our loved one.

Betty Clark and family

Second Sunday ends in sunshine

The Friends of Mosquito Lake School Community Center thanks all of the residents who supported our Second Sunday Community Market series this summer. September 9th marked our last event of the season, and we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day for the 40 plus attendees to enjoy an outdoor barbecue featuring delicious brats from Olerud’s and greens from Four Winds Farm. Thanks to Klehini Valley Volunteer Fire Department and Haines Friends of Recycling representatives for providing information about controlled burn regulations and alternative means of disposing of non-combustibles through recycling. Our next event will be a Fall Festival for kids on Saturday, October 20th from 4-6pm.

Dawn Drotos, Chair

Friends of Mosquito Lake School Community Center

Cross country coaches thank supporters

Thank you to everyone that has supported the high school cross country team this year. The community has supported the team in every way, from entering the adventure race, to making donations, to participating in our practices. We aren’t hosting a home race this year, but we will be putting on an open race (costumes encouraged!) at 9:00 AM Saturday morning September 15, followed by pancakes and bacon at the school. The race will serve as a time trial for our team to see which seven boys and girls will enter the varsity race at the regional championships and a fundraiser to allow more kids to travel to more races--including state. We would love to have our fans participate or cheer on the runners as they race through the fairgrounds. We would like to thank the following people for their extraordinary contributions of time, expertise and/or funding to the team: Tracy Wirak, Liam Cassidy, Greg and Shannon Higgins, Mandy Ramsey, Shannon Donahue, Chris and Deb Kemp, Jacob Stigen, Lily Boron, Alex Van Wyhe, Lizzy Jurgeleit, Jess Edwards, and Leslie Evenden.

Coaches Alixanne Goodman and Chandler Kemp

Be wary of get-rich-quick economic ploys

It’s the (Sustainable) Economy, Stupid!

Travel if you will and you will see just how rare and precious is our home, set amidst vast, unspoiled scenic grandeur, well connected, yet not overwhelmed by rapid growth and unregulated tourism. Think about the value of our winning triad of desirability, scarcity and opportunity, and how we might both preserve and profit from it.

Consider for a minute that outdoor recreation, much of what we and our visitors do here, is, by the government’s calculation, a $374-billion-a-year economy, and more than double that figure by private estimates. That’s more than mining, oil, gas and logging combined.

We’re not yet seeing extensive clear cuts, polluted waterways, heavy industry, hordes of tourists or rapid, unsustainable growth. So, to say we need large scale timber, mining and industrial development for local jobs is to ignore what should be obvious: that these things can all coexist with what’s here – until they can’t. It’s a matter of maturity but also scale. Once those doors are opened there’s no going back, at least in our lifetimes.

How do we help preserve our greatest economic asset? Maintain small scale local resource extraction, business startups and entrepreneurial opportunities. Reject get-rich-quick ploys aimed at locals by large corporate profiteers, including the cruise ship industry. Oppose opening the floodgate to Juneau by road. Plan for slow but steady growth and a high quality of life – and reject the false claims of those wishing to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else.

Larry Larson


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