As a longtime off-the-road resident of the Susitna River basin, I was alarmed to hear of the governor’s intent to create yet another doomed project funded by public money. Gov. Mike Dunleavy and the Alaska Industrial Development Authority (AIDEA) are proposing a 100-mile road across one of Alaska’s largest rivers, 156 streams and countless miles of wetlands.This road would be a mere 6 miles from our homestead and much closer to the many residents of the Yentna River. This has taken many residence by surprise, as AIDEA has done little to notify the public.
This road is pitched to the public to provide access to the the Yentna mining district. The exploration activities there are mined and operated by several Canadian and Australian junior mining companies and negate economic systems already in place. Countless lodges, river freighting companies and guides will lose their way of life and livelihood. If the road is built, it will be just the start of many spur roads to come, including a proposed road right through the community of Alexander Creek. With this in mind, I would like to remind all Alaskans of the many state, borough and AIDEA-driven failed fiascos in the last 30 years:
• The Knik Arm bridge
• The $227 million spent on the never-built Susitna-Watana dam
• The Point Mackenzie dairy project
• The railroad bed with no tracks to Point Mackenzie
• The Mat-Su borough ferry
• The seafood processing plant in Anchorage
These are just a few of the failures; the list goes on and on.
On Dec. 21, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly will vote on giving AIDEA more millions to “study” the project. The testimony given by the public so far is around 99% against the road project. With the election coming soon, Dunleavy is way off base if he thinks Mat-Su residents want this road. I urge all concerned residents and taxpayers to contact your Borough Assembly members and mayor, testify before the Assembly, or join the Susitna River Coalition on Facebook and help us fight this obvious waste of our hard-earned tax dollars. It’s time to let our leaders know that enough is enough.
— Micheal Mason
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