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Bradley Fluetsch's letter in Thursday's Juneau Empire slamming Erik Lie-Nielsen and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is disingenuous at best and, at worst, deliberately misleading.
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Fluetsch is entitled to his opinions, warped though they may be, but the facts are otherwise. He claims SEACC is a "tyrannical minority" opposing "responsible timber sales and mining projects," but the only timber sales the group opposes are irresponsible or illegal projects, especially when it concerns the environment. The very fact that SEACC is often successful, justifies the validity of its arguments.
Fluetsch wrote, "The Moore Foundation's $607,000 grant to SEACC explicitly stated its goal 'to stop all development in the Tongass region.'" This is simply untrue. The grant actually states: "In support of SEACC's work to build local, grassroots support for conservation efforts to protect critical salmon habitat in Southeast Alaska."
There's a far stretch between those two statements, and left unstated is the fact the grant amount was spread out over three years. The grants SEACC receives are dwarfed by the mega-millions (all from Outside) spent by folks such as Coeur Alaska in lobbying for their "developments" and slamming their opponents - all entirely tax deductible, by the way.
The Moore Foundation was founded by Bradley Moore, the brains behind Intel Corp., who is hardly against business. This foundation donates nearly a billion in grants each year and states as its mission: "Our goal is to change the way in which ecosystems are used to conserve critical ecological systems and functions, such as climate function of the Andes-Amazon rain forest for future generations, while allowing current uses to be sustained."
This information is available online to anyone.
Unfortunately, people like Fluetsch distort the truth in their ardent support of industries seeking unfettered access to public resources for profit. Do you really think an out-of-state corporation has anything else in mind? The corporations argue that they benefit local economies. Although this is certainly true (at least in the short term), this argument is merely a cynical, convenient justification for access to the resource.
Access should not include irresponsible or outright illegal resource development methods. Anyone supporting such an activity is doing a disservice to his or her community.