Canada can't be trusted on mine

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, December 19, 2003

If Governor Murkowski really expects the British Columbia government and mining company Redfern Resources to ensure that the Tulsequah Chief mine doesn't harm the clean water and healthy salmon runs that pump at least $12 million in direct revenues to the Juneau fishermen, then I expect a bearded, chubby guy in a red suit to come down my chimney in a couple of weeks and leave gifts all around my living room.

On the other hand it would probably be better if I lived up to my responsibilities and smoked some salmon, stewed some venison, purchased some books and other gifts for the family, and ensured that there will be lots of presents around the tree Christmas morning.

I'd also expect the governor to do more than hope and instead to take action to ensure that Alaska's economic, cultural and recreational interests in the Taku River drainage are protected. Ask B.C. if it has enough money to clean up the Taku when mining is finished and to compensate Alaska for any damage to its fisheries. Ask B.C. why it has ignored Alaska Fish and Game studies documenting significant salmon spawning and rearing areas in the Tulsequah River right near the mine site? Ask B.C. why the existing closed mine has been visibly leaking acid mine pollution directly into the Tulsequah for over 45 years without any cleanup measures? Ask B.C. why its review and permitting procedures are significantly weaker than those in Alaska?

Ask the commercial fishermen, sportsmen and wilderness users what the Taku means to them.

Expectations and hope don't mean much if they are not backed up by information and actions.

Cliff Lobaugh


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