Many reasons to be thankful for mining

Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The thousands of people who have enjoyed the use of Sandy Beach over the years should be thankful.

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The thousands of people who have been able to drive safely on the four-lane Egan Drive should be thankful.

The thousands of people who have driven across the Douglas Bridge should be thankful.

The thousands of people who have been able to use the facilities located between Norway Point and the rock dump should be thankful. Those facilities include the high school, Federal Building, the Alaska State Museum, two boat harbors, the convention center, Marine Park and many others.

The thousands of people who have used the Juneau International Airport should also be thankful.

What should they all be thankful for? They should be thankful that the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, the Sierra Club and Lynn Canal Conservation were not around to stop the filling in of the wetlands that made all of the above possible. Many of the sites mentioned were created with the use of mine tailings.

The stated goal of these groups today is to save Lower Slate Lake. Their real goal is to stop mining. The fact is the disposal of tailings from the proposed Kensington Mine requires trees be cut down somewhere and the use of Lower Slate Lake is the best possible location to do that. It is visible only from the air.

In the end, the lake would be rebuilt and, unlike the lake of today, it would be accessible. It could become a Sandy Beach of the future that families could drive to as a little side trip when they drive the highway to Skagway and beyond.

Rick Urion


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