SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Bostwick Bowl
By Rob Sanderson Jr.


March 06, 2007
Tuesday PM

Are we destroying our cultural and traditional sites to earn a few dollars?

The United States Forest Service has approved an enormous timber sale on Gravina Island. The Bush administration has lifted a federal rule that protected roadless areas of the Tongass from logging and development.

The United States Forest Service is blinded by the prospect of over-development and is willing to throw away the past history and soul of Bostwick Bowl.

Gravina Island is a unique area and it must be protected from future land sales and additional road access. Bostwick Inlet has been used by prehistoric and historic Alaska Native cultures for vital hunting and fishing activities. There is archaeological evidence that the area has been used for traditional and customary food gathering for thousands of years. There are relics of smokehouses, fish camps and tribal houses in and around the inlet. It is estimated that approximately 70% of the traditional foods come from this area. This sale threatens marine life, tide lands, watersheds, and salmon and trout streams. Cultural and traditional foods include black seaweed, goose tongue, wild asparagus, deer, berries, Dungeness crab, fish, etc.

The forest consists of old growth trees, vital habitat for wolves, bears, salmon, eagles and other wildlife. Bostwick Inlet is used for traditional and customary activities including recreational and community harvest of fish and wildlife where alteration of habitat could permanently limit sustained yield to traditional users.

Ketchikan is only 5 miles away from Bostwick Inlet. Many families will no longer have the ability to obtain customary foods. There is the risk of life when traveling in Alaska waters in a small boat. Many families cannot afford the price of gas to go longer distances to obtain established food sources.

The State of Alaska made the timber sale to Steve Seley with complete disregard of the peoples of the area.

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska Department of Transportation, Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the United States Forest Service were not completely honest with the public or the Army Corps of Engineers. Construction was started without proper oversight that would guard the water quality and habitation in Bostwick Inlet.

Governor Palin is aware of the situation and the lack of proper permits. We are asking Governor Palin to intercede immediately halt all activity until the proper permits are in place.


Rob Sanderson Jr.
Ketchikan T&H Community Council President
Ketchikan, AK

Received March 06, 2007 - Published March 06, 2007

About: " Grew up living a traditional and cultural life style. I would like my son and future generations to have the same opportunities."




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