Is mine what we want?

Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The state of Alaska is helping a Canadian company to construct the largest open-pit gold, copper and silver mine in North America. Acid and heavy metal runoff would pollute Bristol Bay streams and rivers, home to the world's largest population of wild salmon and rainbow trout.

The Manhattan-sized operation threatens to decimate the Bristol Bay salmon and trout fisheries, eliminate the livelihoods of commercial fishermen and drastically reduce the source of food for Native people who depend on the salmon. It will ruin the world's best sportfishing and recreation and deprive local residents of jobs and tourism revenue critical to their economies. It will negatively impact Homer's harbor and risk serious pollution from spills of long-lasting heavy metals and acid from processed materials from the mine.

This has ominous implications for marketability of our fish that are achieving worldwide recognition as wild and pure.

This risk is justified by the state and borough with a promise of only 1,000 long-term jobs to be filled mainly by outsiders, according to Bill Popp on KBBI's coffee table. When challenged on the air, he did not give the courtesy of an answer or explanation.

Is this what we want for Bristol Bay, Homer and Alaska? If you look into it carefully and objectively, you will clearly answer "No!"

David C. Raskin, Homer

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