Berners Bay is bursting with spring once again, but I haven't seen any recent letters about the pending Kensington mine. So here's mine (no pun intended!):
Mining and pristine, fragile ecology have never been compatible. I lived for years in Montana and the ruin left by mining there still exists. These companies are not known for restoration. Coeur d'Alene mines has not been financially stable, according to their own reports; so restoration and protection of delicate ecology would probably be low on its list of things to do.
Some look at the jobs the mine would provide, but this isn't great. Only 20 percent of the mine's work force would come from Juneau. The 80 percent coming from outside would greatly strain available housing, schools and community services.
Have we Alaskans forgotten why we live here, or for us transplants, why we moved here? It's for the beauty, the vast wilderness, few people, no shopping malls or interstate highways, a "last best place" to love and protect. Allowing a mine with boat traffic, industrial dock installation, fuel and oil pollution and mine tailings into a pristine lake is in total opposition to our obligation to the value of this place.
I urge the people making decisions about the project to remember that our physical surroundings are the homes of many wild land and sea creatures, and are enjoyed by adventurous Alaskans and many visiting tourists. No human effort can ever replace what can be destroyed by his mine.
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