Ill-planned development hurts all Alaskans

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, January 26, 2007

We can't take any more of this boom-bust mentality. Myopic resource development is ruining our state.

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The Alaska Mental Health Land Trust has recently leased 34 square miles throughout the community of Chickaloon for coal exploration and development, with faulty public notice.

The public was requested to comment on a 16,500 acre lease sale, but the trust tacked on an additional 14,000 acres after the fact. The public was not allowed to weigh in on this dramatic increase.

Now a sole foreign bidder has won the rights, at $4 per acre, to strip mine our town and send the coal overseas. If the government could step outside of its corporate-greed mindset for one minute, it should err on the side of sustainable development.

Instead, my community is looking forward to 30 years of drilling and blasting and dust. This will most likely be followed by generations who suffer the effects of water pollution by mercury.

Quite a legacy for a one-time development option to leave a sleepy little Alaska community. Better decisions could be made to benefit the beneficiaries of the mental health trust.

Lisa Rae Stevenson


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