(Juneau Empire file photo)

Letter: Legislature will best serve Alaskans by rejecting Dunleavy’s executive orders

Dunleavy’s executive orders have nothing to do with “streamlining” and everything to do with destroying.

Take the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve Advisory Council Advisory Board, for example. Or the Alaska Marine Highway Operations Board.

Here’s what Linda Kruger, former Southeast regional manager for Alaska State Parks had to say. “I was the lead park ranger in Haines from 1977-1983, and I was in the room when language for the legislation that created the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve and the Haines State Forest was developed. It was an endeavor that brought all interests together to resolve the deadlock over logging in the Chilkat Valley. The key to the agreement was the inclusion of the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Advisory Council. Without the establishment of the council, the federal government, miners, loggers, fishermen, hunters, local, state and regional environmental groups, and Chilkat and Chilkoot people would not have reached agreement on establishing the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve and the Haines State Forest, enabling logging to recommence and loggers and mill workers to go back to work in the Chilkat Valley. It was an awesome accomplishment. After I moved to Juneau as Southeast regional manager for Alaska State Parks I continued to fly to Haines for monthly advisory board meetings. Each member took their role seriously and played a part in ensuring fair, effective, environmentally, socially and culturally responsible management of the preserve. I never imagined that a governor would try to dismantle something that was a promise, a contract with the people, for how the land would be managed. My hope is that the Legislature will protect the intent of the original legislation that was built on broad community engagement and trust.” (LTE Chilkat Valley News)

The State of Alaska has a poor track record under Gov. Dunleavy of managing its state parks and the Alaska Marine Highway. Gov. Dunleavy values neither. Local groups with diverse representation serve local and regional entities like the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, Wood Tik-Chik State Park, and the Alaska Marine Highway best.

The Alaska Legislature hopefully will, in their joint session on March 12, determine that these off-the-cuff executive orders that override state statutes and disregard community voices is not the best way “to streamline” government or make it accountable to the people they serve.

Kathleen Menke