Emerald Bay is located on the Cleveland Peninsula along an inland waterway, somewhat protected from the weather, allowing for travel when it may not be possible up Clarence Straits. The area is heavily used for subsistence and recreational endeavors. The peninsula supports a diverse and fragile population of brown bears, mountain goats and wolves, as well as other large mammals. For instance, we were privileged to see a cougar at our home in Meyers Chuck, April 1997.
The area's location and beauty draw many independent travelers throughout the summer months. Tourism is an economic opportunity we can bank on for the future. It is up to us to recognize and consider this fact. This sale commits one of the largest blocks of old growth remaining on the mainland to roads and clear cuts during a time of stagnant wood markets and increasing demand for remote recreation.
Certainly the market demand for timber being a loosing proposition, costing the taxpayers millions, deems this sale unjustifiable.
Furthermore, the sale ignores the findings of the 9th Circuit Court of appeals, which ruled the Forest Service 1997 TLMP invalid since it grossly exaggerated demands for Tongass timber. As a result the plan committed too many important community use areas to the chopping block.
My family has resided in Meyers Chuck since 1973. Our children were born in a log cabin, raised in the lush beauty and wildness of Southeast Alaska. We cherish and respect the wild lands we are privileged to live within. We are pleased that so many visitors have the privilege of experiencing wilderness first-hand, on the Cleveland. There is true value in keeping our wild lands wild.
Jacquelyne and Robert Hunley