Berners Bay Deserves Wildlife Protection, Not Mining Road
Letters / Anchorage Daily News / December 24, 2006
Gov. Sarah Palin needs to set as a priority improving the Alaska Marine Highway System and keeping Berners Bay from being a dumping ground.
The Alaska Marine Highway should be Gov. Palin's priority over a road for a mining company because the ferries are the lifeline to coastal communities. Help maintain the ferry services year-round for locals and tourists alike.
The ferries have been a part of Southeast Alaska communities for a very long time. The so-called road out of Juneau only serves a mining company. I feel the Southeast Alaska communities and the Alaska Marine Highway have more precedence over any road to Coeur Alaska mining operations.
Berners Bay has been a mecca for wildlife and for threatened or endangered species such as Stellar sea lions and humpback whales and has provided brown bear habitat for 100 years or more.
Berners Bay is a traditional land for the Auke tribe that consists of two clans: Ya'xte hit (Big Dipper House) and Til' hit (Dog Salmon House).
These two clans protected Berners Bay by respecting the ecosystems for hundreds of years. Any mining waste near the waters of Berners Bay would destroy that environment and would cause a rippling affect for all marine and mammals alike.
---- Leimomi Matunding / Juneau