I was disappointed but not surprised to learn when I came home from college for the winter break that the Forest Service had approved the ill conceived plan to build the new Kensington Mine site inside Berners Bay. I understand that the period to appeal the plan will be over by the time this is printed, but I still want to express my dismay that the Forest Service has been so acquiescent in supporting Coeur d'Alene's plans to build a mine site at the expense of severely threatening a Juneau treasure. I really hope everyone back at home realizes that the only reason Coeur is building the mine in the bay instead of on the location for which they already have permission is because it will be cheaper for them, not better for our community.
The mine operation in Berners Bay will leave us, in a decade or two, with a lake full of mine waste, a permanent dam, and a large, disruptive industrial port in exchange for the same amount of jobs and revenue as the previously approved Lynn Canal plan.
There are still many opportunities to speak out, however, before we are stuck with that depressing prospect for a reality. There are many permits to be approved before the plan goes through and I hope no one in Juneau takes it lying down.