Friday, May 18, 2012

Pebble Mine, Alaska's Decline?

From the onset, When I heard about the Pebble Mining Project in Alaska I felt like this was the classic example of Corporate greed trying to make a buck regardless of the circumstances. The more I read the more upset I became. I have been scouring the Internet for a good 2-3 weeks and this is what I would like to share with you.

There are several reasons why Pebble Mine should NEVER EVER happen, but when it comes to making huge freaking piles of money then rules get changed, people get bribed, and the rich get richer leaving the garbage and crap for the people to swallow.

Alaska is our last great wilderness! Many people live there as well as the abundant wildlife. There is a huge food chain and an integral part of it is the Salmon. If part of the circle is broken then the whole ecosystem could fail and crumble. The food chain would evolve and a new ecosystem would form, but many of the species in the former one would have ceased to exist if not just in Alaska, but maybe worldwide.

Photo By: Ben Knight

The Adversary (Predators):  Anglo American, Northern Dynasty, Rio Tinto Group, and Mitsubishi Conglomerate intend to build the worlds largest mining operation at the headwaters of Bristol Bay. The mine would be the #1 producer of gold and #5 producer of copper worldwide. They claim to provide jobs and increased revenues to the region of southwest Alaska. They also claim they will follow all regulations to the strictest guidelines and no harm will come to the environment from their mining. The size of the open pit mine would be over  3 miles long, 2 miles wide and almost a mile deep, with an underground mine similar in scale. The escapement needed would basically connect two mountains with rock and soil to create a dam to store the 50 plus billion tons of toxic waste created by the mining site.

I have some HUGE problems with this already. There has never been a mining operation that has not harmed the environment and there has never been a mine of this magnitude built anywhere in the World! There is a risk of seismic activity in the region with shifting fault lines and volcanic activity.

You cannot determine where and when a quake or eruption could take place in an active region like this and if one did happen the consequences would be catastrophic!!!

The Victim (Prey): The Bristol Bay region is a wild region filled with natural marvels largely untouched by human ambition. The area is roughly 40K sq miles area with nine rivers and numerous streams flowing through the landscape towards the Bering Sea. The Bristol Bay area is home to the worlds largest Sockeye Salmon runs, as well as the Chinook, Silver, Chum, and Pink Salmon. The proposed site is also on the shore of Lake Iliamna, the largest lake in Alaska and eighth largest in the United States.

The Wildlife Defenders: The biggest group of people in opposition to Pebble Mine are 80% of the  people who live in the region. The Pebble mine group has been targeting the youth of Alaska stating there is no future for them unless the mine is approved. Their propaganda machine is also promising lump sums of cash. Sounds like they are trying to buy votes, but that is bribery and also illegal! Also included in the fight against Pebble Mine are lodge owners and fishing guides, conservation groups nationwide, local, state and federal officials, commercial fishing groups, seafood processors and sport fishing organizations like Orvis, Trout Unlimited, International Federation of Fly Fishers and the Renewable Resources Coalition.

To see the full list, and the numbers will surprise you is here .

The Inevitable: If the group proposing Pebble Mine does impact the environment. The way of life in Alaska may die as well unless it just follows suit and continues to rape the land because it became ruined. Salmon are the be all, end all of life in Alaska. More than 40 other species survival depends on the Huge runs of Salmon that bring food and nutrients the mammals, marine life, birds, and even the soil itself. Besides the wildlife much of the Alaskan economy is built around the Salmon and tourism, mainly through fishing and hunting. The group proposing Pebble Mine already has a poor track record with the environment and has already paid fines in excess of $45k for prospecting without proper permits and spilling chemicals into the watershed. If the Salmon die, the wildlife dies, the tourism dies, the fishing industry dies. It would be driving a huge golden and copper stake right through the heart of this great land.

My Plea: This is a battle here!, and the people of Alaska need our support. The land and the wildlife need our support!!! We cannot stand idly by and watch this vast and beautiful wilderness to come to harm.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can reject a permit request for dumping mine waste in the Bristol Bay watershed. To urge the EPA to refuse this permit and prevent the destruction of the world’s greatest wild Salmon habitat, click here to sign the petition – it takes less than a minute and you can even remain anonymous.

Within an hour of me finishing this blog I read this from several sources:

HUGE NEWS! The EPA has released its draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment Report today, May 18th. See it here:

The report finds that Bristol Bay is a one of a kind global fishery that produces 46% of the world’s sockeye, and that massive hard rock mining would eliminate and damage fish habitat and streams, even without an accident or catastrophe. We knew that and now so does the rest of the world!!!!!!

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