We recently read the My Turn article by Virginia and Bob Palmer, "What if fisheries lab stayed in Auke Bay?" that appeared in the Oct. 2 Empire. This is an excellent article, which deserves serious thought and consideration.
As former residents of the Lena Loop road community, we have followed the proposition to relocate the fisheries lab to Point Lena with great interest. We have always thought that the relocation of a fisheries laboratory to a location without fresh water and without satisfactory waste disposal, and with poor access to the ocean, due to the altitude, was not a good idea. Now, with the withdrawal of other agencies that might have shared in relocation, it makes even less sense to do so.
Perhaps the most important question to ask it: What do the scientists who work at the NMFS lab feel about this relocation? What, indeed, do the users want, in regard to this? It is our feeling that the professionals who work at the Auke Bay lab would rather see it remain there, with support, further development and upgrading, rather than move to Point Lena, for the reasons that are very well explained in the Palmers' article.
The proximity to the UAS campus at Auke Bay is also a positive reason to leave the facility at its present location, and we would like to hear the opinions of the UAS administration on this.
We agree that it would be a good idea to go back to the drawing board and reconsider this project. The property at Point Lena at the quarry site could be put to better use.
Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth W. Moss
Great Falls, Montana