SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Gravina Roads/ Roads on the Tongass
By Jeff Hendrickson



June 29, 2007
Friday PM

I have watched the arguements going on over the Gravina Road and the Roads on the Tongass for a long time now and I for one am getting really tired of the opinion that nobody wants roads to any of these areas. I hear continually that we need to keep these areas road free so that people can enjoy the areas by hiking into them. What about those who cannot hike due to handicaps or other physical limitations? Do those people have to be stuck to the town just because they are handicapped? The Tongass is 17+ million acres in size, what is the problem with making some of it accessable for those who aren't able to get to it any other way? There are a lot of places to go for those who are physically able even with a few roads going into some of these areas.

The other issue is recreation areas and/or the lack thereof. I saw a proposal a few years ago to open a road into the Bostwick area for a camp ground and recreation area. The conservationists/environmentalists got all upset about ruining a prime recreation area. The same thing happened with the Leask Lakes proposal. Again, what about those who can only get access to places like that by road due to physical handicaps? Are they stuck with having Ward Lake/Settlers Cove as the only areas they go to recreate? That sounds pretty selfish to me.

I for one would like the ability to go other places, on this island or Gravina, by road, to be able to camp and picnic, but it seems like every time we start getting close to that possibility the vocal minority (TCS) put a stop to it. So much for the rights of all.

Maybe some day things will change and we can find a way to share the outdoors with everyone.

I would close this letter with " The opinions and comments contained herein are strictly my own" but I know they are not and, in fact, are the opinions of many in our community who are in reality road-locked.


Jeff Hendrickson
Ketchikan, AK

Received June 28, 2007 - Published June 29, 2007

About: " 41 year resident of Ketchikan. Also an avid outdoorsman, fisherman, and hunter."


House Votes To End Tongass Road Subsidy - An amendment to the FY 2007 Interior Appropriations bill that would prohibit the use of funds for road building for the purposes of timber harvesting in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, was offered on the U.S. House of Representatives floor Tuesday evening and was passed by the House with a vote of 283 to 145. - More...

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