I have noted recent letters calling into question the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council and its position on defending lands.
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I must say SEACC has responded very well to Alaska Native Tribal concerns when it comes to our natural environment. I recall when the Alaska Native corporation Klukwan Inc. proposed to spray aerial pesticides on Long Island, my ancestral backyard. SEACC responded with the utmost respect to Native culture and the laws that apply to tribes. When SEACC represents areas with environmental concerns, I do not believe it is out to stop economic development; I believe it is about the protection of our lands.
When Alaska Native corporations say they are the best stewards of our land, I do not believe them for a second. I see my backyard being pulverized by their timber contractors without any regards to natural beauty. They are the ones who demolished our fish runs in key streams and created roads which have resulted in enormous erosion and runoff. Their investment into Southeast Alaska communities leaves some in a condition equal to that of a Third World country. It is really hard for me to understand their definition of stewardship.
When I see SEACC out there on the front lines I can respect them, knowing that they have an interest in keeping the land the way our ancestors wanted. If development were to include protection of our critical natural resources, then we could all sit back and enjoy the bounty which we consider our way of life, so please keep that in mind when the bashing starts.
John Morris Jr.