Jobs wanted, Pebble Mine not

Posted: Friday, December 01, 2006

In response to Bob Favretto (Clarion, Nov. 17), those who oppose the Pebble Mine have “not failed to note that the project must go through an extensive local, state and federal permitting process before any development can occur.”

Already, Northern Dynasty has applied for 11 permit applications to date, so bringing this to the public’s attention is essential.

Those who oppose again, “have not failed to look at the major economic benefits through jobs and economic spinoff to communities throughout Southcentral and the state.” We choose to not be shortsighted as some of you are with this project.

Fishing is a renewable resource when managed correctly. More fishing lodges can be opened in the area, flightseeing tours, etc. Look how Southeast has bounced back by applying these businesses.

Unfortunately, Northern Dynasty needs the South and North Fork Koktuli rivers, the Upper Talarik Creek and approval to construct dams to hold back toxic tailings; basically, they need water rights.

Those who oppose are over 90 percent who live in the area and more are opposing throughout the state as they learn exactly what an open pit mine will do to one of Alaska’s most precious areas.

Thirteen Native corporations set a precedent by coming together to oppose this mine for many reasons, along with lodge owners and the majority of commercial fishermen. They are fully aware of the hardships in the area, but they are not willing to sacrifice their way of life. Educate yourself on the damages that have occurred throughout the world, including the United States, with open pit mining. It is not the mining of old that you read in history books.

The General Mining Law of 1872 has allowed some miners to extract huge fortunes in precious metals from public land, paying little for the land and nothing for the minerals.

It has also allowed some to wreak havoc on the environment, leaving taxpayers to pay for cleanup that most will go on in perpetuity.

Summitville Mine, Summitville, Colo.; Brohm Mine, Deadwood, S.D.; Anaconda Copper Mine, Yerlington, Nevada; Molycorp Molybdenum Mine, Questa, N.M.; and Zortman-Landusky Mine, Lodge Pole, Mont. These are the top five open pit mines in the United States for toxic damage. All groundwater was contaminated and cleanup continues at taxpayers expense. Groundwater contaminated by arsenic, cyanide, toxic metals and other materials. Water at one site was so contaminated with corrosive salt that water dissolved a metal handrail.

I am not against jobs for Alaskans, nor is anyone else who opposes the Pebble Mine. I am an Alaskan. I stand by the people of the Bristol Bay area. I know I would not want this mine in my back yard.

Saundra Fletcher


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