SEACC is not an enemy of Southeast workers

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It's preposterous to think of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council as an enemy of the working residents of Southeast Alaska. Its members do good work and fight the good fight. Our natural resources are finite, and we ought not to race to the bottom with reckless abandon.

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There isn't an employee at SEACC that gets paid comparable to someone at Sealaska Corp., for example. Also it's silly for a corporation that makes its money extracting resources to criticize a nonprofit organization for furthering its purpose. If Sealaska came clean and said it wanted to log the Tongass to the bedrock and fill the streams with tailings to make a buck, I would respect that. Sealaska, however, is misleading readers (Bradley Fluetsch's My Turn, Feb. 8 Juneau Empire) by trying to paint SEACC as Exxon with its high-powered attorneys and lobbyists.

Fluetsch is completely wrong. SEACC has no more access to the court system than Sealaska, Exxon or a public citizen. In fact, I'm quite sure that Sealaska has adequate, if not better access to the courts than most Southeast Alaska residents.

If corporations such as Sealaska in the business of natural resource extraction, were more prudent, used better management practices and didn't break the law, then SEACC would not have to bring lawsuits on behalf of injured members from all of those member organizations. Those organizations represent many, many Southeast Alaska residents from all over the political spectrum. SEACC members are workers, family members, teachers, community leaders, members of the fishing industry and progressive business people.

Outside corporate money? Alaska has a history of Outside corporate funding. Is Coeur Alaskan? I guess it's not bringing most of its upper management (high-paying jobs) from the Lower 48. At least the Outside money for SEACC comes from philanthropic organizations. At least SEACC is honest and not trying to mislead the public by claiming "evil Outside" forces are ruining our lives and sending our children out of state.

Fluetsch should have "come clean" and told people that he was the financial analyst for Sealaska Corp. Then the public would know where to give credit its due.

Clancy DeSmet

Montpelier, Vt.



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