Recent history of Gravina
By Mike Sallee
October 03, 2005
A faded 1964 photo taken on or about my eighteenth birthday near
our leased home at the N. end of the Ketchikan airport before
that airport was built. These bucks, taken by my mother and myself
on opening day, represent one of, if not the best day of deer
hunting ever for either of us.
This part of Gravina which includes the airport reserve and adjacent
land inland as well as land north and south of the airport has
already been compromised as high quality deer hunting ground
by air traffic noise and other development. With increased roading,
logging and other development will come increased wildlife mortality
due to road kill, loss of habitat, disruption of predator/prey
relationships and loss of refuge for wildlife due to increased
With developers' pressure to road and people Gravina with
homes, subdivisions, harbors, industrial sites and other urban
sprawl in the name of jobs and development, they eliminate the
rural character of Gravina that is compatible with subsistence
uses like the one depicted by the photo.
There have been times in the course of history when money wasn't
worth much and people had to rely upon the natural productivity
of their surroundings. In times of relative prosperity it's hard
to imagine doing without cars, computers and cruise ships. The
rising cost and finite supplies of oil coupled with restrictions
on fossil fuels due to their effect upon climate may well
mean Ketchikan will need to keep its subsistence options alive.
Gravina is that option.
Ketchikan, AK - USA
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