The recent decision by the Forest Service to allow Greens Creek Mine to continue dumping tailings within the Admiralty Island National Monument is flawed and unfair. The Forest Service dodged the bullet they fired at themselves by ignoring the long-term cumulative impacts of the mine and made a short-term decision until further studies can be made.
The Forest Service knows that the mine will require 30-50 more years of tailing storage, and the impacts will be forever. By making a piece-meal, 10-14 year decision the impacts seem far less than the future reality of hundreds of acres of the wilderness being buried under tailings.
Our Angoon elders and ancestors have fought for the protection of Admiralty Island — a sacred place to my people. I urge the Forest Service to be honest with the people of Angoon, the public and Hecla (the mine owners) to describe what Greens Creek, Hawk Inlet and the surrounding waters and land will be like when the mine eventually closes production and we will inherit their toxic tailings forever.
Wally Frank, Jr.