Save Tangle Lakes

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, April 29, 2005

Anglo American is currently doing mineral exploration for a proposed open pit platinum strip mine in a highly scenic recreational and hunting area that surrounds Alaska's Tangle Lakes (near Paxson on the Denali Highway).

The Tangle Lakes' wide open tundra meadows, glacial lakes and ridges are favorite destinations for Alaskans and visitors. Traditionally, Alaskans have been attracted to this area because of its use by the Nelchina caribou herd for over 10,000 years. It is a rich archeological site valued by the Ahtna people and archeologists because of its valuable artifacts. The Tangle Lakes country contains some of the most accessible wild lands in Alaska. It has always been a compatible multiple-use area and has successfully supported local placer mining operations.

What's at risk?

A large mine is obviously incompatible with existing uses that are important to Alaskans: hunting, fishing, canoeing, bird-watching, snowmachining, dog-mushing, local placer mining and photography.

A large mine would displace an existing and growing economy: highway tours, recreational tours, subsistence hunting, horseback riding and berry-picking.

A large mine would conflict with the primary designated use of the area. A state Fish and Game plan designates "fish and wildlife habitat as the primary use of the land."

How can you help?

Anglo American is applying for a permit to begin exploration. Contact the state Department of Natural Resources with your concerns.

Call Cooper Country Alliance for more information and a free bumper sticker.

Contact your local Legislative Information Office for the names of your local and federal representatives. Voice your concerns.

Kathy Libbey

Copper Center

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