By Dale Mathews
The new Chena Ridge Rd "restore Cripple Creek Channel" culvert is a good example of the misguided "save the fish lobby" in action. To accommodate a silt bottomed stream with a flow which could easily be handled by an 8' diameter culvert they have conned DOT into installing a 16 ft diameter culvert filled 6' deep with 1"to 3" rocks and armored more 1-3' rocks 18 feet above the stream channel. This in a stream that has never been a fish stream due to its silt bottom which doesn't permit spawning and is at such a low stream gradient that it cannot move small gravel let alone rocks and in the last 1000 yrs or so has been unable to erode the silt through which it travels. This sort of nonsense is what Ballot Measure 1 lobby want to make mandatory. Sad to say but the Alaska Department of Fish and Game appears to be very complicit in this effort which like this culvert will waste taxpayer money, inhibit responsible development and not accomplish its stated goals.