Area worth preserving

Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2001

I would like to express my concern about the proposed North Douglas golf course. I wish that anyone who has the opportunity would go see the area where the course is proposed to be built. I have spent much of my 28 years in Southeast Alaska in the woods, and have gotten an opportunity to see a wide variety of areas across Southeast Alaska. I think the Peterson Creek watershed in which the course is proposed (not to be confused with Peterson Creek at 25 mile Glacier Highway) is one of the most spectacular. The watershed is a mix of different habitats, from well-drained forests of large spruce to wetlands with lush green vegetation. I have seen quite a bit of wildlife in the watershed, including bears, deer, river otters, kingfishers and eagles. On two occasions recently, I saw goshawks right where they are planning on putting the course.

There are many small tributary streams containing salmon and trout that drain through the area of the proposed course. Developing the course will include constructing logging roads, logging, removing stumps, and putting in fill. This will put fish populations of Peterson Creek, which include coho, pink, chum salmon, cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden, at risk. It's not that the potential developers have been environmentally careless in their design of the course. They are planning to leave trees near some valuable tributaries in the area, and have agreed to install fish-friendly stream-crossing structures throughout the project. It is just a matter of too much disturbance in too small a watershed. They have inherited a site with extremely high aesthetic, fish and wildlife values that I feel is inappropriate for development. I believe that, in the process of developing city and Goldbelt land on the west side of Douglas Island, it would be much preferable to extend North Douglas Highway from its existing end. This would result in one stream crossing, rather than the over 20 stream crossings in the proposed design.

I am not against the construction of a golf course. I am against developing the area where the course is planned. Don't take my word for it. Please try to visit the area sometime. You may agree that it is worth preserving.

Dave Gregovich


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