By Craig Moen
November 20, 2007
"Can you drive your 4-wheeler or snowmachine on the streets?"
was one of the questions I asked before accepting a job offer
in Ketchikan. In small towns in the Arctic, those are basic
transportation. No significant roads, plus you need them to
haul wood and hunt.
There are very few good reasons to have either of those means
of getting around on this island other than recreation. And
the penalty for driving either of those anywhere in city limits
should be significant. Even in the Bush people die every winter
from reckless use in the village - I saw too much of it.
Another thing that's happening is that a few people are not thinking
at all when they take their 4-wheelers out to venues like Lake
Harriet Hunt. Up the hill away from the lake there are deep
ruts that are cut into the soft ground that wouldn't heal if
they stayed off the hill for another 20 years or more. You can
hardly find a way to walk up the hill that won't put you half
way up to your knee in mud and water. It's just as defacing
as the "happy face" petroglyphs that appear so casually
on rocks near roads on the island.
I believe that a couple of the biggest threats to the beauty
of this island are 4-wheelers and snowmachines. The solution
would be to restrict traffic to approved and marked trails.
I'm not a tree hugger or environmentalist, but I've learned to
respect nature and not abuse it or take it for granted. The
generations that came before us and also the elders in our midst
know from experience what happens if you forget those priciples.
Please don't drive them in town, and please stick to the trails
when you're passing through the beautiful country outside of
town. Respect yourself. Respect nature.
About: "I depended on
4-wheelers and snowmachines for transportation for several years
in the Bush. Now a resident of Ketchikan."
Received November 19, 2007
- Published November 20, 2007
Damage By Dave Person
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