Causeway would limit hunting, fishing opportunities

Posted: Friday, October 01, 2010

Although I've had many slow days fishing and hunting on the Mendenhall Wetlands, I've also had my share of banner days there with full limits of duck, geese, or silvers. Regardless of what I come home with though, I've always felt very lucky to have a place to hunt and fish that I could access as quickly and easily as the Flats.

I don't think anyone can make the case those opportunities would go away entirely if a causeway was built at Sunny Point, but it's clear there would be less space on the refuge for pursuing them and that negative impacts to fish and waterfowl populations would be very likely. Wetlands are complex systems. Taking a giant sheet of water and funneling it through a series of small openings is sure to impact the food web, transport of sediment and movement of fish and waterfowl found there.

The proponents of this project advocate waiting to address these and other impacts until after we commit to a long-term and expensive tax. The causeway at Sunny Point is a project that we know will face huge environmental hurdles; will negatively impact recreation, fish and wildlife on a state game refuge; freeze a portion of the city budget; end vessel navigation through the channel; will cost each Juneau household around $6,000 and is something we should stop on Oct. 5. Please vote no on Proposition 2.

Mark Kaelke

Juneau



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