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Squandered Inheritance: A Challenge
by Larry Jackson


March 30, 2005

As we watch 500 year old spruce packed up and shipped to Asia for secondary manufacturing, I have a couple of questions for readers to reflect on. 

Where is the outcry from the local politicians?  It is a mantra while campaigning to say they support the timber industry, but their silence on the continued squandering of public resources is shameful.  Sure, this is mental health land, but that is still public resource.  

Secondly where is the timber industry outcry?  Alaska Forest Association decries the environmental communities' lawsuits on federal sales but says nothing when its own members ship logs in the round out of the country.  This duplicitous rhetoric makes them all the less sympathetic when it comes to making a argument against the "greenies".   They can't on one hand complain to the Forest Service to make more timber available, then when mental health timber is available ship it off shore as soon as possible. The hypocrisy is laughable.

My second point is the shear mismanagement of a public resource from an ecological and economical point of view.  As a commercial fisherman I am keenly aware that all state commercial fish stocks must be managed on a sustained bases.  State timber lands are mandated thus as well. The state constitution refers to state resources being manage judiciously as well.  But Mental health, university and borough lands can be managed unsustainably with no apparent regard for the sustained harvest of public lands?  How can the state and borough hold these contradictory management philosophies?

My challenge to the Alaska Forest Association, the Governor, local politicians and the public is to change the state laws that allow Mental Health and the university to manage our resource in such a radically irresponsible way.

Remember the Governor campaigned on developing Alaska resources. Let's keep him to his word and stop this non-sense of round log export. 

Some days I think I'm living in a third world county.

Larry Jackson
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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