Irresponsible mining

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2005

As a member of the high school club Alaska Youth for Environmental Action, I am in favor of reasonable and sustainable development and the use of our natural resources. But I am also in favor of responsible and environmentally aware development.

The current Kensington Mine, slated for construction in Berners Bay, is not environmentally responsible or safe. In 1998, Coeur Alaska applied for and received the necessary permits to build the mine on the Lynn Canal side. Later Coeur stated that the mine would not be profitable because the price of gold wasn't high enough. Now, instead of returning to the already permitted plan, they decided that it would be more profitable to build the mine in Berners Bay.

Both sites would result in significant damage to the surrounding environment. The Berners Bay site, however, causes much more damage than the Lynn Canal site. Coeur wants to stick to this site, not because it provides more jobs to Juneau or generates more tax revenue (like they claim), but because it is cheaper for them.

I do realize that harvesting of the earth's natural resources is a must. We need wood for desks and paper, and metal for cars and buildings. But at the same time, there is a responsible way to mine, and an irresponsible way. The current Kensington Mine proposal is not responsible.

As a proud member of America's youth, I am highly concerned with the preservation and longevity of the environment, for my pleasure and for generations to come. Coeur Alaska is obviously not.

Tristan Knutson-Lombardo


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