To the editor:

We were six Alaska families from the southwest sitting around our fire circle last night in Chickaloon. We were lamenting our inability to influence the direction of our state that fosters coal mining, compromising the life of thousands of families living along the Matanuska River. All week we’ve been hearing helicopters and seeing trucks from Riverdale Mining Co.

We all moved to Alaska more than 15 years ago with the hope of building a whole life, not just pursuing a career. We were not following the money, but following a dream to live as best we could through sustainability on the land in a relatively intact environment.

We fish and hunt and support a large garden. We are willing to go without many conveniences to live on the edge of wilderness.

Now we see our state selling out to the short-term interests of foreign corporations. Our migrating bird populations will suffer, our water supply is compromised, our moose range ravaged by machines, our gardens covered in dust, the health of our children suspect — all for few jobs and coal sold abroad by a foreign company.

We are taxpaying residents of this state, but it is corporate interests our local government serves, not its residents.

Melea and Thomas Roed

Chickaloon

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