Homer Alaska - Opinion

Story last updated at 4:47 PM on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Invasive species starts its takeover out East End Road




So, this morning I'm looking out of my window, and behold, Grewingk Glacier is not to be seen. Blocking the world-famous view is a giant creature rearing up out of the water, its arms reaching to the sky, resembling a gargantuan mosquito ready to suck the blood out of Kachemak Bay.

I accidentally pick up the paper only to read that this creature is not of U.S. origin but an invasive species from Australia, of the "Suckaneer" type. I call around but I can't find out much about it, since it is a foreign, super-resilient, protest-resistant hybrid that was sneaked in by our very own state of Alaska on the promise that it will improve our way of life, despite the possible harmful side effects.

Seems our local officials and legislators have known about the Suckaneer family being imported into Homer for quite some time now, but for some reason, I, who have lived here all my life, just now only found out about this infestation. Go figure.

As a voting Alaska (not to mention Homer) citizen, I would have liked to have some say as to whether the expired oil and gas leases behind Homer should be extended, therefore enabling a foreign entity to suck it rich in our backyard. I would also have liked to get answers to questions like: how will the oil and gas get stored, transported, distributed and who will it actually benefit before the drilling starts?

If I had been told that the "West Eagle Field" is actually code for The Very End of East End Road (which is at the top of the Swift Creek watershed that runs into Kachemak Bay critical habitat last time I checked), I might have written this letter sooner. But then, I just live here, and besides, everyone knows that you have no say about anything going on under the ground in Alaska, even if it's under your own living room.

If I'd been warned ahead of time, maybe I could have stopped wasting energy digging up all that yellow hawkweed that's taking over my hayfields and spent some time trying to stop these aliens from landing. Or maybe someone out there thinks that if we treat this creature nice, fix it up pretty, give a couple businesses in town a few days' work giving it a facelift and makeover, then tow it up and down the bay so we can get used to it blocking the view of the mountains, then maybe some of us might actually become desensitized to its bite and welcome the Suckaneers into our environment?

If we will let it take root in the back country does it at least mean we will all get rich from oil rig jobs, have lower fuel bills and save our nation from foreign oil dependency? Or is it all going to get exported overseas so a couple corporations can make a profit at our expense? Just asking.

Most invasive species are only out for their own survival, and are not at all interested in yours. Thanks to our government and our archaic mining laws, this species is starting its takeover way at the end of East End Road where they hope nobody gives a heck. Next thing it will be migrating into your backyard, like the hawkweed. Is there some way we can get local control over this invasive creature before it runs rampant over our beautiful hinterlands, valleys and watersheds or is it too late ?

Lifelong Alaskan Mossy Kilcher grew up in Homer on a Kilcher homestead with seven brothers and sisters.

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