Gateway Forest Products, the Ketchikan veneer plant, would have helped bring prosperity to Ketchikan, if it hadn't been for the environmentalists, those "enemies of the state." Or could it be, as alleged by the Ketchikan borough, that Gateway failed because it lied from the get-go, lined its pockets with over $15 million of public funds, highgraded the timber, conspired with Ketchikan Pulp Co. and multinational parent company Louisiana-Pacific Corp., and left the public owning a toxic Superfund site.
This scam speaks volumes about the reality of a new industrialized timber industry in Southeast. The Tongass can no longer sustain the rape, highgrading, giant subsidies and theft of the past (and present). The people of Ketchikan, Alaska, and the nation should be outraged at what Gateway is accused of.
Gov. Frank Murkowski's administration, including his staff of ex-timber lobbyists, should weigh in and come down hard on any illegal dealings by Gateway. I also must have missed the editorial response of publisher Don Smith and Lew Williams Jr. to the Ketchikan borough's allegations.
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