A large, 660 acre portion of Alaska's rainforest in the Chugach National Forest is at risk, due to the Municipality of Anchorage's plans to build an 18-hole golf course. Located in the town of Girdwood, 40 miles south of Anchorage, beautiful stands of pines and other rainforest species will soon be gone. Pesticide and fertilizer runoff will flow into Turnagain Arm where endangered Beluga Whales fish for food.
The plans are moving forward after a town-wide ballot initiative showed strong public support to save the forests. A judge in Alaska threw out the initiative.
The golf course is aplanned to be built in an area that averages 4 feet of rain per year, and an average high temperature of only 62 degrees. The developer also understands these risks and has asked the municipality to subsidie the deal. Land that sells for an average of $200,000 per acre will be sold to the developer for only $7,000. This is a loss of $9.65M in values to the taxpayers.
A local group, Girdwood Yes (www.girdwoodyes.org) is proposing an alternative. They plan to have a forest park built that everyone can enjoy. The plan includes camping, trails, and a visitor center where tourists can learn about the wildlife and wilderness of the area.
Show your support for the forest park inititative. Visit www.girdwoodyes.org.
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