American Tourists do too Have a Say on What Happens in our State

Anchorage Daily News / Letters to the Editor / August 13, 2003


In response to Cheryl McNeil's letter, "Tourists really shouldn't tell us Alaskans how to run our stat": (Aug. 9) I take exception with her "We Alaskans Know Best" philosophy on two counts.

First, we should welcome tourists like Debra Taylor to visit Alaska and especially the $10,000 she added to our economy. In a state dependent upon the extraction of nonrenewable resources, we need to promote tourism, not discourage it.

Secondly, "we Alaskans" don't always make decisions based on the "best interest" of our state. If "we Alaskans" had our way, the Tongass would probably be one gigantic clear cut right now. We are a state with 60 percent of our land controlled by the federal government.

So wake up, Ms. McNeil; "we Alaskans" are not an independent, sovereign nation. We are a part of the United States of America. Tourists like Debra Taylor, an American citizen, have every right to be sticking their nose in our business. I welcome Ms. Taylor's opinion regarding our state's wolf policy. And just as a person from Colorado can show concern for Alaska wolves, I can and should voice my concern for the manatees of Florida, the sea lions of California and the spotted owls of Oregon.

-- Sherry Hill / Anchorage

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