It seems like the threats to Berners Bay just keep piling up. If it's not Sen. Lisa Murkowski's bill to trade it away, it's plans for a mine that could scatter buildings, roads, and a ferry terminal all over the north shore of the bay. Coeur Alaska says that it's all set to open the Kensington gold mine this summer, in part because of a cheaper operating scheme that includes plans to dump mine waste in Slate Lake, currently home to a healthy population of Dolly Varden.
Coeur representatives argue that this mine will bring much-needed jobs to Juneau. A closer look at mine documents reveals, however, that 80 percent of these jobs will go to people from out of town. Meanwhile, Juneau residents will bear costs associated with the increased strain on our public services and schools - not to mention the damage that will be done to one of our most popular recreation, hunting, and fishing areas.
A public meeting on the mine will be held from 4-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, at Centennial Hall. If you care about the fate of Berners Bay, please come!