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Salmon and pit mines are a bad partnership

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2007

I am responding to Northern Dynasty's full-page add in Alaska newspapers which states that the proposed Pebble Mine is going to be a "Partnership with all Alaskans" and "Beneficial to all Alaskans."

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By definition, a partnership is a mutually beneficial combining of talents and resources in an attempt to reach a common goal.

I would like to publicly state that I do not want to enter into any kind of a partnership with Northern Dynasty whatsoever.

I feel this way because I have studied the long- and short-term effects of open-pit mining and have come to the crystal clear conclusion that an open-pit mine of the scale proposed for Pebble is totally and completely incompatible with our world-class salmon resource the Bristol Bay region provides.

If Northern Dynasty is allowed to construct this mine, Alaska's reputation as the salmon cradle of the world will be tarnished and the possibility of a catastrophic accident will always be present.

Northern Dynasty is using a clever ploy to keep the wheels turning on this sobering project. They tell Alaskans to "wait and allow the permitting process to take place."

If we allow them to proceed as if we gave them a mandate, I'm afraid they will gain so much political and economic momentum our permitting officers will feel they have no choice but to allow this mine to go forward.

I am not anti-development and do not want to be characterized as such. I support many projects in our state and realize that resource development and extraction is largely responsible for Alaska's economy. Salmon and salmon-related industries are a wonderful renewable recourse that will suffer if this mine goes through. I am simply trying to protect an existing, profitable resource and career pathway.

I encourage you to study open-pit mining and then imagine what will happen if an open-pit mine is placed at the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushagak rivers.

I did and realized that Bristol Bay salmon and Bristol Bay pit mines are a very bad partnership.

Andy Bullick

Juneau



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