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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.

jpg Mike Sallee with deer

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 human access.
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.

Mike Sallee
Ketchikan, AK - USA




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