Posted on June 4, 2013



Lately I have heard a lot about the uncertainty of waiting from those who are connected to the outcome of the proposed Pebble Mine development. There are a number of unknowns associated with the prospective project, but the biggest stressor by far is the Pebble Limited Parnership’s assertion that they have no mine plan. Senator Rick Halford mentions in every public forum where he is given the floor that we are being held hostage by PLP claiming that they have no mine plan. Our concerns are real and claiming that there is no plan does not alleviate them. I would liken the scenario to a lab withholding pathology findings on a potentially life-changing biopsy result. In this case it is difficult to move forward with everyday life without the distraction of a possible cancer and how one’s life could be altered. Even Alaska’s Congressional delegate, Senator Lisa Murkowski, has given voice to this sentiment as it was recently captured by Kodiak’s Laine Welch over a beer at Kodiak Island Brewery: “As a policymaker who spends most of my days saying there is a process we need to follow, I have a tough time telling the state to chop it off at the knees. But I’ll tell you one thing: Pebble isn’t doing itself any favors by not giving more definition to its plans. They have documents to the moon, but no images or mine plans. The best thing Pebble could do is lay it on the table so we have something real to deal with.” Well said, Lisa. Thank you.

In the midst of waiting and enduring the uncertainties surrounding the proposed Pebble Mine project, there are things that we can all do to hopefully keep this cancer from taking hold and spreading. The Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment that the EPA has undertaken has an extended open comment period. Comments are being accepted 30 days beyond the former deadline of May 31st and the EPA needs to hear from you. Whether you are an Alaskan whose identity is inextricably tied to our salmon culture or an American who can appreciate the wonder of wild and sustainable salmon that is supported by the Bristol Bay Watershed, please take the time to weigh in with your opinion while we wait…