I am one of the workers that signed the advertisement addressed to the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council board members, which was placed in the Juneau Empire.
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SEACC board member Eric Lee, in a letter to the editor on Wednesday; responded from a "personal perspective" to "help" me see things from his point of view.
I'm getting a lesson on mining practices from someone who has "fished commercially" his entire life? I'm a recreational fisherman, but I would not be so arrogant as to tell a lifelong fisherman how to best catch a fish. Eric's credibility is further damaged when he opines that miners "have no incentive to protect the natural world they work in."
For the sake of argument, let's reverse his logic. For example, what if I were to say that I have a problem with commercial fishermen? What if I were to say that I feel that commercial fishermen are harvesting too many fish, affecting the personal enjoyment of filling my bag limit? What if I were to say that their "big ugly fishing boats" distract from the natural beauty that I enjoy while I'm on the water, and are much more destructive to the environment than small recreational craft?
Do I apply SEACC's point of view? If so, then I would launch a campaign to stir up the emotions of countless other recreational fishermen in the Lower 48 by telling them that they will never have the chance to enjoy fishing in Alaska as long as commercial fishing is allowed to continue. I would misstate facts and statistics to garner support from animal rights groups. The financial support would fly in from all sorts of trusts, again from Outside. This would pay for the litigation. Injunctions could be put in place to prevent commercial fishing from happening until the case is resolved, and would probably bankrupt a number of fishermen in the meantime. Enough commercial fishermen would be out of the picture that the eventual outcome of the court case wouldn't matter.
All these things could be done under the noble umbrella of doing what's best for the people of Southeast Alaska, future generations and "defending" commercial fisheries regulations. It wouldn't matter that the majority supports commercial fishing or that commercial fisherman are already fully regulated.
SEACC's point of view? Eric Lee's "personal perspective?" I don't think so.
Jeffrey G. Rogers
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