SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

There's gold in them hills!
By A.M. Johnson


May 29, 2012

Editor Sitnews,

Good to hear Victoria is still in residents. As one looks around the community it is hard to recognize anybody as a permanent resident. There are a few of us old barnacles still hanging on after the timber industry was successfully eliminated from the economic pie. Seems Victoria was involved with that issue as well. I can't recall if Victoria was or remains a member of the local environmental league, seems that was the case, could be mistaken and if so, charge it to old age.

As a longer time resident than Victoria by scores of years, it is good to hear that there is yet another opportunity to create an economic operation even if it is in on the Canadian side

Been years since I have ventured into the Unuk river area. Think it was when the Bell island Resort was public and Ketchikanites would gather to swim and socialize. Back then there were stories of prospecting for gold and such by both US and Canadian prospectors. Talk of maybe a rich strike would develop and a dream of a road into Canada was discussed, All this before the ferry system.

Closest was the Grand Duc mine up the Chickaman and on the Canadian side. Hyder had become a ghost town for all practicable purpose because of market conditions. I understand the Hyder/Stewart area is in a similar reincarnation in mining development, as well, the current oil/gas pipeline from the Yukon interior of Canada under construction leading into Kitamat B.C. bodes well for employment for the Canadians, God Bless them, they move ahead at a rapid pace. One has to cheer economic progress where ever it resides.

As I look at Google Earth and locate the mine location and its nearness to connecting highways, the thought of making a two way road from tide water at the Unik river mouth to this mine site and beyond waters the mouth of an old Islander. Maybe the route would be equally worthy to not only this mine but other endeavors in accessing a tidewater staging area for transporting ore to the far East later. One could venture that electrical power from B.C.Hydro would be available if the political strength is available to coordinate a power agreement between the State of Alaska, SEAPA, and B.C.Hydro. Think cheaper power for home heating, power excess for mineral development in our own garden patch! or even a revitalized forest industry as a result of a political upheaval this fall.

Anyway, nice to hear from Victoria, in all these many years, the lament remains unchanged and in this case, thanks are in order for the opportunity to give re-birth to economical development conversation with potential for both our Canadian neighbors and likewise on this side of the fence.

Looking forward to word on the activity as it develops.


A.M.Johnson - 70+ years in residence.
Ketchikan, AK
'Don't worry about the Unuk river coming to an end today.
It's already tomorrow in Australia !"

About: "Conservative dreamer with gold pan in hand"

Received May 24, 2012 - Published May 29, 2012

Related Viewpoint:

letter Massive mine planned on the Unuk; Economies of Scale Create the Greatest Damage By Victoria McDonald


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Ketchikan, Alaska