Berners Bay adds to our quality of life

Posted: Sunday, August 10, 2003

I would like to take a moment to thank a couple guys who towed four kayaks in from Sawmill Creek a few weeks ago. As the weather turned bad, their skiff and generosity were heaven sent! One of the men said not all fan boat operators are bad, pointing out the "issue" of fan boat noise, as he uses one to get to fishing and hunting spots as well as for fun in Berners Bay. I personally have no problem sharing with anyone who wants to enjoy this area so close to Juneau yet far enough to be away from it all. I have kayaked there a couple times, I've camped near petroglyphs, paddled through hundreds of seals feeding during the hooligan run, been checked out by an orca headed for the seals I'd just passed and met some great people.

There are a lot of ideas for this area that do not have anything to do with the hunters, fishers, boaters, naturalist, historians or anyone else with a tie to these lands and waters. These unpopular ideas have been defeated in the past. With this in mind we may understand why Sen. Lisa Murkowski held a hearing in Anchorage rather than Juneau. Anchorage had the public stage to express ideas for our back yard. Her idea is to split and parcel the land to corporations without a word from the constituents most affected. With a single legislative bill, 12,000 acres will be out of public hands for good. With the public process being snatched from us at every turn, we must speak more loudly and demand Juneau issues be brought to Juneau. With that I only hope we realize what a resource Berners Bay is for our quality of living.

Ken Jacobs


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