On Saturday, I saw the Kennicott coming back from its day trip to Tracy Arm. I'm sure the people on that trip felt lucky to live in a place as beautiful as Southeast Alaska. However, if that ferry would have continued south and come back to Juneau around Admiralty Island, those people would have seen something a lot less beautiful. They would have seen the clearcuts at Hobart Bay, on Kupreanof Island, up Chatham Straits at Catherine Island, down into Peril Straits, most of the east shore of Chichagof Island and about 15 miles of the west side of Admiralty Island. These clearcuts are on both Forest Service land and Native corporation land. Juneau is lucky that we don't have a lot of areas like this close to our town. I am opposed to the land exchange that Senator Murkowski is supporting (Senate Bill 1354) because it would exchange 12,000 acres of publically owned wilderness in Berners Bay for 3,000 acres of mostly clearcut land owned by the Cape Fox village corporation. This is not an exchange of equal value and it probably will result in clearcuts, mine tailings disposal and development in one of Juneau's favorite recreation areas.
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