As an avid Alaska fly fisherman of more than 20 years, I have fished the pristine waters of the Newhalen, smaller Lake Clark streams and the Naknek River for the past decade.
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I am hopelessly obsessed with fishing rivers where the only other warm-blooded animals are my best buddies and bears. The anticipation of knowing that each cast holds the potential for a never before caught trophy rainbow is an unforgettable experience. The actual feeling of catching and releasing a 30-plus-inch beauty is indescribable.
I am terrified of Northern Dynasty Minerals' proposed plans to create one of the world's largest open-pit mines in a region of Alaska that holds precious resources beyond potential mineral wealth.
Northern Dynasty cannot guarantee that its massive dams will hold during a moderately large earthquake. This fact alone should dissuade citizens of Alaska from supporting such an ill-conceived plan. The cons far outweigh the pros when you consider the detrimental effect such a massive mine would have on the area. Regional fishing and hunting tourism, broader state tourism and the Bristol Bay salmon industry will surely suffer from the existence of the Pebble Mine.
What will happen if the mine is created and the dams do not hold?
What can Northern Dynasty offer Alaskans when the Bristol Bay Region dies by its hands? Apply for bankruptcy?
The bottom line is that nonrenewable resource extraction should not take precedence over multiple invaluable renewable resources when the potential to devastate and destroy exists.