After reading Edwin E. Johnson's letter to the editor in Monday's Juneau Empire, I think it's appropriate to add some desperately needed balance to extremist letters of that nature.
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I do not affiliate myself with any particular organization other than being a citizen of the United States and an Alaska resident.
Johnson is a small-business man employed by the local power company as the resident engineer for the Lake Dorothy Hydro Project. After spending eight months working with Johnson on that project, I have watched him manipulate the project under the permitting system that was altered by the Murkowski administration. This would not have been the case had the Division of Habitat not been stripped of its permitting power.
SEACC is not a preferred method for checks and balances. Nevertheless, as of now there is no overseeing agency to protect our natural resources.
Against all sound reasoning, the former administration stripped the permitting power from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Division of Habitat and turned it over to the Department of Natural Resources, which leases land to perspective users at a fee. DNR has a very important roll to play ensuring the proper use of a portion of our natural resources, however, that became a conflict of interest when it took over habitat.
A prime example is the review of the unstamped plans and permitting of the Lake Dorothy Hydro Project. As long as there are those who administer projects without regard to the needs of our natural resources and our environment, SEACC will be there.
I guess the question's are: Who is the whistle-blower? Who sees the noncompliance? Who reviews the construction projects to see if they are even adequately and completely designed to accommodate our fragile environment?
Industry is what makes this country great as long as it is kept within the confines of a check and balance system. That is what needs to be taught to our children.
Kyle P. Eyre
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