I am representing Juneau Audubon Society in opposition to the Cape Fox Land Entitlement Adjustment Act of 2003, which would give approximately 12,000 acres of Tongass National Forest lands in Berners Bay to Native corporations in exchange for 3,000 acres of mostly clearcut private lands near Ketchikan. This land swap may affect one of nature's most incredible displays that is available for people to experience.
This area has a unique value to wildlife and people. The incredible congregation of sea mammals and birds in the spring is unmatched in Southeast Alaska. Juneau Audubon has utilized this amazing wildlife extravaganza by offering cruises to the public to observe the sea lions, whales, seals and birds that come here each spring to feast on the eulachon run into the rivers. For many years we have provided a family-oriented trip to expose our local residents to this amazing wildlife display. As a member of Juneau Audubon, I am very concerned about any development that may inhibit use of wildlife in this unique ecosystem. Audubon utilizes Berners Bay as a focal point to illustrate spring bird migrations and we are lucky to have such a place so near our city. Many of us also travel to Berners Bay throughout the year to enjoy the wild and scenic beauty that can be experienced by relatively easy access from the "end of the road."
We urge full considereration of other options to this land trade in Berners Bay. Surely there are other alternatives to this swap of Juneau's highly used and appreciated recreational and wildlife area.
President, Juneau Audubon Society