Don't run off an opportunity

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2005

As someone whose permanent work opportunity and family's support outlook is at stake, I am compelled to write. The suit being filed against the Kensington mine seems ridiculous. If they are trying to blame the federal government or President Bush, they need to sue them and not Coeur Alaska. The mine developers have followed all the rules and are using all the technology that previous mines did not enjoy.

The minor spills, which have been reported, don't amount to the pollution levels fertilizing a lawn would create. Compared to old technology, these are nothing. Compared to driving your car for a week they are nothing.

Big worry about Slate Lake? Dolly Varden enjoy a 98 percent winter survival rate because they winter in lakes, any lake. If they are displaced for the duration of the mine, they will come back. They won't die off. They'll just move out. Remember, not too many years ago there was a bounty on Dollys because of the damage they do to the salmon stocks. They will survive.

I didn't want to see the mine or a road plowed into Berners Bay at first either. But with the small footprint, best technology, and opportunity for our community and my family, my mind has been changed. I believe Berners Bay and Slate Lake will survive and return to the natural state it is now.

I need these jobs. Our families and the community need these jobs. Let's not run another positive opportunity out of Juneau. Let's embrace and help the Kensington project be all it can be for all of us.

Elwood Baldwin


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