Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 6:36 PM on Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Don't trade salmon for coal

Few places can compare to Alaska with its abundance of resources and natural beauty. Yet with that bounty come responsibilities. As Alaskans, we have a voice in how our resources are developed, protected, used, or not used, and our voice is critical. An excellent example is the proposed Chuitna coal strip mine.

A Delaware-based company plans to mine through 11 miles of salmon stream along the west side of Cook Inlet. Once that stream is destroyed, it will never again produce salmon. Thousands of Alaskans have spoken out against this precedent-setting project, attended meetings in droves, written hundreds of letters, called the governor's office, signed petitions and sent cascades of postcards. Their message is clear: They do not want to trade our wild salmon for exported coal.

The people have spoken and expressed how they want their resources to be managed. Now it is time for our state government to fulfill its responsibility. It is time for our leaders to listen to the people.

Toby Smith, executive director Alaska Center for the Environment