Fighting for our special places

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, March 12, 2007

Seal Bay, Long Bay and Goose Flats have been our stomping grounds for the three decades that my husband, Jed, and I have lived in Tenakee Inlet. We have come to understand how important a healthy forest is to our way of life.

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We fish and hunt in the healthy water and woods of these bays near our home. We preserve our harvest by canning, smoking and freezing. Our gardens produce the vegetables we need, and the berries I pick add variety to our menu. We frequently come to a meal that we have harvested 80 to 90 percent of the food. It is satisfying and so healthy to live close to the land and enjoy its bounties.

Over the years, Jed and I have also earned our livelihood from the forest and adjacent waters. We commercially trolled for salmon, long-lined for bottom fish and potfished shrimp. In our sportfishing business, we took clients up the steams to fish the pristine watersheds in the bays of our inlet.

I know that now is the time for me to protect the forest that I love so much. I will testify at the hearing scheduled in Tenakee Springs for the revision of the Tongass land management plan and fight for our "special places."

Joan M. McBeen

Tenakee Springs

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