In these times of fiscal austerity, restraint and retrenchment where we are all being asked to cut essentials, some folks are pursuing their dream at public expense.
In a backwards public process, City and Borough of Juneau has, I am told, signed a contract to build a substandard 2.3-mile road through some of Douglas Island’s prime public hunting and recreational land at the end of the North Douglas Highway. This would endanger one of the few salmon producing creeks on Douglas Island.
Apparently an arrangement has been made with Goldbelt Inc. for the marketable timber and the remainder is to be burned on site, without giving local residents the chance to take it for firewood.
Why is it being done? There is no current project that the road will support. Instead, it will encourage more pallet parties, fireworks, drunken driving and calls for emergency response services. It is a road to nowhere.
A Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for March 22. I urge others to speak up to protect our public recreational lands until there is an immediate need and investment return on them and to re-appropriate these funds for needed improvements to pedestrian crossings and access to areas designated for a genuine top priority — housing.