SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


By Craig Moen


November 20, 2007
Tuesday AM

"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.

Craig Moen
Ketchikan, AK

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


Related Viewpoint:

letter Four-wheeler Damage By Dave Person

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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska