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Wary of 'mitigation'

Posted: Monday, June 25, 2001

In 1960 my family moved to the airport area. I used to have fun playing on the floating muskeg ponds, catching toads and picking nagoonberries. In the winter we would iceskate on the airport ponds. The toads, berries and the ponds have disappeared and the skating is not longer allowed, however, we still have the dike trail. Every year I walk the trail close to 300 times. I start my day, rain, snow or shine, walking the trail, watching the seasons change, and seeing the wildlife. I've seen deer, otters, snowy owl and other owls, a variety of hawks, ptarmigan, cranes, an egret and even a sea eagle in addition to the more common waterfowl and birds. This trail provides me an important daily pleasure in my life.

When I read the airport wildlife hazard assessment, I felt sick. In the name of safety and development, the assessment suggested sterilizing ponds, chopping trees, paving over grass and allowing Duck and Jordan creeks to die. I have learned to be afraid of the word "mitigation." I know that I'm not alone in my concern for this special area and I would like to have the public be made aware of and to participate in any changes made to the entire dike trail.

Thank you for this forum,

Mary Watson

Juneau



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