Letter: Put Jewell decision in context

January 3, 2014 

Fairness calls for responses to various points made by opponents of the Izembek decision.

P. Jenkins: Anyone who regularly flies around Alaska knows that an all-weather access road will provide zero certainty of getting out of a socked-in airstrip. Rural folks all over Alaska knowingly accept that risk to live in the Bush. Road barriers? Countless examples tell us that there would soon be ATV tracks around the gates. 

D. Lattery: What makes King Cove any different from any other Bush village? Are you really proposing to build roads to every isolated village? “… this thing called the federal government” is trying to do exactly what it is supposed to do: manage federal lands according to existing laws and the prevailing wishes of the American public. 

T. Moninski: Proximity doesn’t confer greater ownership. Each Alaskan has the same share of ownership in federal lands as other Americans: 1/317,325,000th. Each of them gets an equal say in managing those lands; yes, even those who have never been here.

I’m sure Interior Secretary Jewell agonized over this difficult decision.

— Ken Higgins


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