WHICH CAME FIRST, CHICKEN OR THE FEDS?
A few years ago my youngest daughter and I decided to drive the Top of the World Highway, which runs from the Alaska Highway near Tok in Alaska to Dawson City in the Yukon Territory. The border crossing is at a tiny town named Chicken, population about 17, depending on the time of year. The road splits at Chicken and the Taylor Highway goes north about 32 miles following the Forty Mile River to Eagle, a small town on the Yukon River. The drive to Dawson City is beautiful and we had a great time, but we had to stop for awhile in Chicken when my daughter’s chronic illness caused her some problems. We were in Chicken long enough to know there is nothing but wilderness anywhere in the whole Forty Mile area. It is impossible for the inhabitants to have any secrets.
There are miners who hold placer mining claims along the Forty Mile. They sluice for gold only in the summer months and most of them bring their wives and children to help with the work. There are clean water regulations that the miners must follow so they don’t pollute the river and the State usually has agents out checking the mining sites and settling ponds once or twice a summer, just to make sure only clean water is released back into the river. The agents travel alone and carry arms for safety against bears and other critters. Once in awhile a miner might be cited for a minor infraction, but it’s no big deal, and the miners and agents have traditionally had a good relationship.
At the end of August, 2013 miners and their families were startled when at least 6 or 7 heavily armed Federal agents dressed in combat gear, including body armor, driving military vehicles and wearing large police signs began showing up at their mining sites, looking and acting as though they were ready for battle. Over several days they searched around cabins and outbuildings, threatening and trying to intimidate the miners and their families, who were totally mystified by the visits. The miners called Alaska State Troopers and the Governor’s office demanding to know what was going on. The Governor called the EPA and was told that the State Troopers had asked for help from something called the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force because of “rampant drug and human trafficking going on in the area.” The Troopers said they knew absolutely nothing about such a request, nor had they ever heard about such charges. The Troopers denied they were involved in the raids at all and said the harassing agents from the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force came from several different federal agencies, including the EPA.
The Alaska Dispatch reports that Alaska’s lone US Representative, the Senators and the Governor have looked further into the matter and demanded an explanation from the EPA, but to date no response has been given.
Alaskan’s are angry over this matter, and anyone who has ever been to Chicken and Eagle can only wonder how “rampant drug and human trafficking going on in the area,” could possibly be a reality. Where would the trafficking come from and where would it go? I mean, attempt to haul anything through or hide it in the Forty Mile? Get real.
The Cliven Bundy matter in Nevada is another ratcheting up of domestic militancy by the EPA, the BLM and other federal agencies. All done with blessings from the top of this ruinous regime.
Chicken came before the Feds, but they just want it gone.