Fisherman questions creation of Pebble Mine

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Thursday, March 01, 2007

As an avid Alaskan fly fisherman of over 20 years, I have fished the pristine waters of the Newhalen, smaller Lake Clark streams and the Naknek for the past decade. I am hopelessly obsessed with fishing rivers where the only other warm-blooded animals are my best buddies and bears.

The anticipation of knowing that each cast holds the potential for a never before caught trophy rainbow is an unforgettable experience. The actual feeling of catching and releasing a 30-plus-inch beauty is indescribable.

I am terrified of Northern Dynasty’s proposed plans to create one of the world’s largest open pit mines in a region of Alaska that holds precious resources beyond potential mineral wealth. Northern Dynasty cannot guarantee their massive dams will hold during a moderately large earthquake. This fact alone should dissuade citizens of Alaska from supporting such an ill-conceived plan.

The cons far outweigh the pros when you consider the detrimental effect that such a massive mine would have on the present wild Alaska aura. Regional fishing and hunting tourism, broader state tourism and the Bristol Bay salmon industry will surely suffer from the existence of Northern Dynasty’s Pebble.

What will happen if the mine is created and the dams do not hold? What can Northern Dynasty offer Alaska when the Bristol Bay Region dies by their hands? Apply for bankruptcy?

The bottom line is that a nonrenewable resource extraction should not take precedence over multiple invaluable renewable resources when the potential to devastate and destroy exists.

Taro Satake


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