October 18, 2005
The National Park Service decided not to allow additional cruise ship entries into the park in 2006 and only 14 cruise ship entries in 2007. The National Park Service plan makes no provisions for Alaska Marine Highway System ferries to enter Glacier Bay.
"It is time for Alaskans to have a voice in this process. Imagine the reaction from Californians or Montanans if the Park Service refused to allow their residents access into Yosemite or Yellowstone.
"We know that Glacier Bay National Park can support two cruise ship entries per day without an adverse environmental impact and that is what we are seeking. The National Park Service chose not to substantially increase the number of cruise ships into the park for the approximate 90-day cruise season. Their argument that larger ships will still result in more people seeing the park evades the entire issue of a decision based on science. Their Science Advisory Board has found no evidence of resource damage as a result of cruise ship traffic.
"There is no better place to see Glacier Bay National Park than from the deck of a cruise ship. And it is past time when Alaskans should have a greater opportunity to see this beautiful park in their own backyard.
"This issue is not over. I will express my concern to the Interior Secretary when we meet next month. And I will work with the Congressional Delegation to find some way for Alaskans to have an input on this important issue."
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