Letters to the Editor

Letter: Destroying the Last Frontier

As we develop Alaska, we need to be strategic and ask ourselves “What kind of Alaska do we want to leave our grandkids?” In the Lower 48, you cannot go more than 27 miles without hitting a road. Alaska is one of the few remaining true wilderness areas left in the world. And that’s why many of us live here, right? That’s certainly why our tourism industry is so large. We are drawn to the rugged, natural, raw beauty of the wilderness. This is not something that divides us along political lines; we all like to get out there, whether it’s hunting, fishing, hiking or biking.

Unfortunately, Alaska’s government has a history of wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on controversial bridges to nowhere and failed megaprojects like the rail spur and deep-water port. The proposed 100-mile West Su access road is another example of this. The first 15 miles alone would cost $82.5 million. This road is being built primarily for an Australian exploration company; there are no other real financial benefits to the road, according to the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority’s own financial reports. It would actually hurt our tourism industry and put about 20 wilderness lodges out of business. Recreational access is already plentiful in the region and being taken advantage of with boats, planes, snowmachines, dog sleds, etc.

Don’t turn Alaska into the Lower 48 and trade one industry for another. Let’s grow Alaska’s economy while protecting our wild places and develop strategically with well-vetted, researched and thought-out plans.

— Steve H. Perrins II


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