I write in response to Mr. Gilbert’s letter (Clarion, June 22), supporting Pebble Mine. I have a few points to bring up that are worth careful consideration.
1. Were you aware that the mine is Canadian owned and operated and that the gold is going out of the United States?
2. Were you also aware that Lake Iliamna is the largest spawning grounds for salmon not only in North America, but also the largest spawning grounds in the world? What impact will the mine’s use of chemicals have on the watershed?
The mine’s daily air traffic impacted the caribou and moose migratory herds. The elders and villagers from that area did not taste caribou and moose last year.
3. What about the people of the area? Mr. Gilbert stated that the mine will be good for the economy of the people of Iliamna. The ones who stand to benefit are not the local Alaskans nor even the local Americans. Is he aware that gold was discovered behind the village and talk is that the village may need to be moved because the gold “find” is even larger that the deposits of Pebble Mine?
How will relocating a whole village and raping the land and sacred historical sites be beneficial to the people? Will we stand by as further violence is done to Native Americans in the name of progress?
When considering the Pebble Mine, we need to recognize that Alaska belongs to our future generations, not just the select few that will get compensated in the immediate time; and we need to consider the spawning grounds that will affect the subsistence lifestyle and salmon industry from which the watershed of Lake Iliamna provide.
4. Finally, Mr. Gilbert have you taken the time to see the tracks this Canadian mining company left in Canada? What is left behind is barren, gaping holes, polluted with chemicals. Or have you researched how a whole Canadian village was “accidentally” burned after the discovery of gold so “progress” could be made?
Is the Pebble Mine really what we want for Alaska? The mine will destroy the land it is on and impact the fishing industry of Alaska and the whole Northwest.
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