Letters to the Editor

Letter: West Susitna Road fiasco

I have lived and worked in West Susitna for almost 50 years. I have a well-established remote fishing lodge on the upper Talachulitna River. This access road smells of disaster.

For some reason, our governor is pushing through this road with every means he possibly can, through the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority and the Department of Transportation. The governor for “all Alaskans” has visited the exploratory mining camps on the upper Skwentna River, but when asked to visit some of the lodges in the area, he refused.

AIDEA keeps telling the public this road will bring in logging opportunities, but most of the spruce trees are dead from beetle kill and there is no market for cottonwood or birch — and there’s already plenty of that along the existing road system in the Mat-Su. Recreation is mentioned as an opportunity, but recreation by snowmachine, boats and aircraft already exists, and the road would destroy it. They mentioned access to cabins but did not mention that offshoot roads to individual cabins are cost-prohibitive for individuals — and besides, cabins in this area were built to get away from the roads. Campers on this road could not compete with heavy ore-hauling trucks.

Can you imagine the size of several gravel pits to fill in the road over mostly wetland? This road cost could easily be redirected to fix the roads in Alaska that we currently have.

— Mark Miller


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