N.B.: I was having this discussion at City of God with Sarah-Palin detractor who has taking aim at Craig Carter, a friend and one of my favorite bloggers. I was doing some research and found this:
Gov. Sarah Palin, former mayor of Wasilla, killed Lake Lucille. This is according to piece by Salon’s founder David Talbot, covering the 2008 presidential campaign, “Sarah Palin’s dead lake: By promoting runaway development in her hometown, say locals, Palin has “fouled her own nest” — and that goes for the lake where she lives“); as evidence, he cites a local assembly member:
“Lake Lucille is basically a dead lake — it can’t support a fish population,” said Michelle Church, a Mat-Su Valley borough assembly member and environmentalist. “It’s a runway for floatplanes.”
I grew up in Anchorage. We passed Lake Lucille hundreds of times on our way to our cabin at Crooked Lake which is only about 30 minutes from Wasilla on South Big Lake Rd. Assembly woman Michelle Church describes an all-too familiar scenario, a lake with lousy fishing, and suggests that that it is directly caused by float planes. Our own Crooked Lake 40 years ago was by no means crowded with float planes; but the couple dozen families with cabins there fished it regularly with hardly any success. Some lakes just don’t have good fishing. We also used to fish Upper Russian Lake near Cooper Landing. Now that was heaven for Rainbow Trout fishing. Upper Russian Lake, situated between mountains is deep, cold and rocky, with little vegetation. It avoided over-fishing because its access was by float plane or by a 12-mile hike through grizzly country. Crooked Lake is warm and shallow with a lot of vegetation and sticklebacks, but trout only thrive in cold, highly oxygenated water. One summer at Ontario’s Lake Opeongo I caught a 2 pound trout from my canoe but only after letting out hundreds of feet of line–I’ve never repeated that again. Most summer trout fishing south of Alaska requires special rigging which holds the line 90 or so feet below the surface where the water is sufficiently cold.
Did Sarah Palin foul her nest (a distinctly misogynist slight) and make it impossible for fish to live in the lake? Here is an excerpt from a 2009 article that explores a little bit of the history of the lake (Anchorage Daily News):
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has for several years called Lake Lucille an impaired water body because vegetation chokes the shallow pool and its decomposition robs the lake of oxygen.[snip]
According to an account published as part of a 1993 study by Anchorage engineering firm Hattenburg, Dilley and Linnell, rotenone, a poison, was added to the water in 1955 and 1963 to kill stickleback that had invaded the lake.
The treatments killed an estimated 25 million stickleback, along with 80,000 suckers, 450 rainbow trout and 235 silver salmon. A fish weir was added in the late 1960s to stabilize the lake levels and keep the stickleback population in check.
Measures have been taken to improve the lake’s water quality as well… [snip] But the lake is still choked by vegetation and doesn’t have enough dissolved oxygen.
Sarah Palin was apparently born in 1964, and her family doesn’t seem to have moved to Wasilla until 1972. So she could be the cause of Lake Lucille’s death only if she has god-like powers to influence:
(1) the structure and nature of Lake Lucille, i.e., shallow with a lot of vegetation;
(2) events that occur before her alleged date of birth.
Perhaps she is an immortal alien from another planet or an überterrestial. But it seems more likely that Salon founder David Talbot is not a journalist but a propagandist. It took me less than five minutes of internet research to debunk his tendentious article.