Tonight! Tell the Assembly to Reject Lutak Dock Phase 3!

Written by Shannon Donahue

April 11, 2022

Last Thursday night, the Haines Borough Planning Commission voted to advance permitting for Phase 3 of the Lutak Dock development project to the Borough Assembly for approval. Tonight, the Assembly will vote on a resolution to move forward with Phases 1-3. This is your opportunity to tell the Borough Assembly to press pause on this project.

Now we need to tell the Borough Assembly not to move forward with Phase 3, an elevated platform to enable ore shipments. The Assembly will consider this at their 6:30 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, April 12, on Zoom only. Oral testimony is limited to three minutes.

Click here for the Zoom link and meeting documents.

At last week’s Planning Commission meeting, Borough staff and several commissioners told us Phase 3 isn’t about ore transport. These short clips from the March 24 Ports & Harbors Committee meeting tell another story. As the Haines Borough barrels ahead to develop shipping facilities at Lutak Dock, they’ve been talking in-depth with the Yukon mining industry about how best to design Phase 3 and beyond to accommodate ore shipments, while simultaneously telling the community they are not developing an ore transport facility. Click here to see what really happened at the Ports and Harbors Committee meeting.

Confused yet? Here’s the breakdown: Phase 1 increases the available uplands for the dock. Phase 2 demolishes the old dock face, and Phase 3 constructs an elevated platform allowing the dock to service big ships. We learned at the March 24 Ports and Harbors Committee that the big ships in question would carry ore from Yukon mines. Some Haines Borough staff and committee members are having one conversation with the Yukon mining industry while telling the community the opposite. The Planning Commission and Borough staff used reductionist logic to claim this is not an ore terminal, but I’m not sure what else to call it. 

Thank you to all who submitted comments, testified, and attended the last meeting. We succeeded in demonstrating our opposition to ore shipping. The problem we face now is: We did such a great job in voicing our opposition that the Borough is bending over backward to claim that Phase 3 is not about ore transport.

If you submitted comments and asked to have them sent to the Borough Assembly, too, please check to make sure they are included in tonight’s meeting documents. We noticed that several such comments were missing. You can re-send them to afullerton@haines.ak.us, and ask that they be added to the public record for tonight’s meeting.

The Haines Borough has demonstrated that we need to vigilantly track every step of this process so that our community’s interests are given as much weight as those of foreign mining corporations. Together, we can keep our community safe and healthy, but we have to speak up.

Thank you,
Shannon Donahue, Upper Lynn Canal Organizer

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