Anyone who has an interest in healthy fisheries in the Bristol Bay area needs to read this. The short AND long-term health of the Bristol Bay watersheds is be threatened by ‘big mining’. The Renewable Resources Coalition is making headway, but really needs our help.
We now have before us an opportunity to vote on a very plain and simple initiative that will protect our waters and fisheries from being decimated through large scale mining operations. This initiative DOES NOT prevent mining from occurring. Rather, it puts into law the verbal commitments the mining industry has been making about their intentions in regards to Pebble and other mines that will be developed in the Bristol Bay area. The initiatives simply state that the industry can not pollute nor consume the waters of salmon streams or streams that people utilize as drinking water.
If you are not aware, the one mine that is proposed at Pebble will for everyday of its operation require the consumption of more water than Anchorage use in a day. The mining company has already applied for the water rights to ALL of the water of the Upper Talarik Creek, North Fork of the Koktuli, and the South Fork of the Koktuli. The company is currently allowed to take 115,000 gallons per day for 9 different drill sites from Upper Talarik Creek. The DNR does not know the affects of this on the drainage but is hopeful that it â€œwill not do too much damage.â€ This last summer, for the first time ever, the South Fork of the Koktuli River went dry. I am no scientist, but I am sure that the survival rate of smolt and eggs is pretty low when rivers run dry.
Mr. Bob Gillam has basically been single handily financing the fight against Pebble with these initiatives. It has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars along with countless man hours to accomplish the daunting task of collecting 32,000 signatures for each initiative, fighting lawsuits against the mining industry against the initiatives, and running advertisements to help educate the general public on this issue. It is time that we, as operators, step up and help financially in this fight. There will be the need for many TV, radio, and print ads as the vote on the initiatives draws closeâ€”which looks like the vote will be in August. Mr. Gillam has pledged to match dollar for dollar, every donation that comes to the Renewable Resource Coalition to support the initiatives. This is in addition to the $1,000,000 he has already spent on this issue over the last two years.
Contact your clients with a simple email if you personally can not donate any money to this cause. The issue has received national and international attention in newspapers and magazines.
Please contact Richard Jameson at the Renewable Resources Coalition at 907-743-1900 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for donations.