May 21, 2014

Think About It…….                                                                                           May 21, 2014

Have you ever been to Kanatak, Alaska?? It’s just to the east of the huge Becherof Lake on the Alaska Peninsula.  Founded in 1890 by villagers from Nushagak, the village Kanatak was a major town.  It sprang to life in the 1920’s with oil exploration, home to over 200 people. The town died out in the early 1940’s. When the oil companies left, so did the stores, the bakery, the hotels, bars and other merchants.

When I first flew into the abandoned town in the early 1970’s, most all the houses and stores were standing. Artifacts left by the former residents were everywhere. In fact, the bar featured a huge unbroken mirror and a thirty foot mahogany bar, all still bright and shiny. Needless to say the area was rich in Alaska history.

Today you will find nothing but a huge field of grass. Nothing of this historic town remains. Our Federal Government burned all the buildings and buried the ashes. For shame, for shame.

Simeonof Island just southwest of Kodiak Island was used by fox and cattle ranchers between 1890 and 1930. Then in the 1950’s a cattle rancher brought high quality Hereford cattle to the island where the cattle, on acres and acres of grass with no predators, did extremely well but the ranch was not profitable. The cattle were left to take care of themselves and they did so very well. In fact, fishermen passing by in their boats often stopped by Simeonof Island to harvest beef for their families.

Then in 1985, after the cattle had created their own environment on the island, the Federal Government decided that the cattle might be scaring off a few terns and other birds that might be nesting there. They decided that the cattle had to be killed.  So, with several helicopters, government shooters and big guns they mowed down well over 1000 head of prime grass-fed beef and let them die, bloat and lay in the sun. For shame.  For shame.

Now here comes Federal determination that hundreds of prime Hereford cattle on Chirikof and Wosnesenski Islands must be destroyed.  The islands are southwest of Kodiak and just north of King Cove.  The cattle are still of high quality and doing very well.  Aside from a few cattle trails on the islands all is well. Fisherman, hunters and folks in the area harvest a number of cattle each year.  Fresh beef for their families.  In fact, for many years our family has enjoyed beef all winter long from Wosnesenski Island. Today there are just over 500 Herefords on Chirikof Island and about 80 head on Wosnesenski.  Once again the Federal Government wants to bring in the helicopters, shoot them with their big guns and waste them all.

Alaska is a part of the United States and one would expect that because the Federal Government furnishes just over 1/3 of our Alaska economy we are forced to give them the right to destroy our historical sites and gun down our cattle. It just does not seem right and proper. But never try and stop the Federal Government.  It is simply not possible.

Think About It!     John Davis   5-21-14

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