Alaska tribe takes coal mine concerns to UN

Posted: Sunday, February 27, 2011

ANCHORAGE — Alaska’s Chickaloon tribe is asking the United Nations to hear its concerns about a planned coal mine in the Mat Su Valley.

The Alaska Public Radio Network reports that the Athabascan community near Palmer is opposed to the project being developed by Usibelli Co. at a site called Wishbone Hill.

The tribe has filed a document to the United Nations’ independent expert on water and sanitation. The issue is a test case in Alaska to see how the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples might be used to intervene in development projects.

The tribe contends the proposed mine site is where its members have traditionally hunted and fished. The tribe also says it could pollute Moose Creek, which has been restored for salmon spawning.

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