I have followed the recent letters concerning the proposed golf course on Peterson Creek on North Douglas. This, like all controversial issues regarding natural resource development, really boils down to a question of values. The questions that public officials and concerned citizens should ask themselves are: Do we value a round of golf more than a wild steelhead? Do we prefer to recreate on a manicured lawn, or an old-growth forest? Would we rather have the immediate economic benefits associated with building a road, a golf course, and houses, or would we prefer to maintain a healthy commercial fishery that is supported by streams like Peterson Creek? Would we rather play in a golf tournament than compete in a fishing derby?
We can have either one, but we can't have both. The history of the salmon in the Pacific Northwest clearly tells us this. Here in Juneau we've lost Gold Creek and Duck Creek. We have know that Jordan Creek can produce thousands of coho salmon, but it may be too late to save it. I hate to say it, but Montana Creek probably is next. Development and wild salmon don't mix (which is why they're endangered all over the West). With a decision pending on whether we should build a new golf course, I guess now is a good time to ask ourselves just what type of eagles and birdies we prefer.