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June 23, 2018

Lead Developer Abandons Pebble Mine Plans

Many of us were hopeful when “Cyanide Cynthia” Carroll left Anglo American last year, and my thanks to Mr. Cutifani for his mastery of the obvious. Wrong Mine. Wrong Place. Within hours Northern Dynasty’s stock was falling fast. Anglo didn’t announce the plan on a Friday afternoon to give cover to the remaining partner. Apparently the decision didn’t come until well into the day on Sunday. In 2011, Northern Dynasty had put its 50 percent interest up for sale. It put the plan for the mine online. (I know, that made the whole “we don’t have a plan” thing a…

Inconvenient Private Sector Jobs

Time to don your rain ponchos, because Republican heads are going to be exploding across the state. This is one of those times when philosophy and reality are on opposite sides, and the confused elephant brains of the majority of the GOP in Alaska are going to have to out themselves, or change sides. Ah, another inconvenient truth. ” Ready? Guess what industry is the largest private sector employer in the State of Alaska? Oil? <<<HOCKEY BUZZER NOISE>>> Mining? <<<REPEAT ABOVE>>> Nope, it’s fish. A recent report issued from the McDowell Group for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute reveals: The…

Mudflats Chats: Paul Begala on Pebble & Democrats

I sat down with Presidential adviser Paul Begala, and asked him his thoughts about the proposed Pebble Mine project, Senator Mark Begich, blue lawmakers in red states, and what it really means to be a Democrat. One of the lead advisers to President Clinton, Begala and James Carville shaped a moderate campaign agenda that focused on balancing the budget and creating 22 million new jobs. I’d been told that Begala is an avid hunter and fisherman, and has been fishing near Bristol Bay. So, I knew where I wanted our conversation to begin – with an issue that is of…

Alaskans Gone Wild – Say No to Frankenfish!

(Insert Jaws theme here) The Frankenfish is coming!  Unless we all speak up… The push to introduce a genetically-modified, farmed Atlantic-Pacific-Salmon-Eel hybrid into the marketplace continues, but we have time to stop it. Alaska’s entire congressional delegation is all on our side on this one, so no excuse to call it a “partisan political issue.” This is about Alaska’s greatest sustainable treasure, our wild and wonderful salmon. The FDA has already issued a draft Environmental Assessment with a finding that genetically modified Atlantic salmon caused no significant environmental impact. Really? Sorry, FDA. Alaskans are smarter than that. We know that contamination…

Pebble Mine and History

Butte, Montana has a couple of distinguishing claims to fame; one controversial, the other, not so much.  What is controversial is that Butte boasts to being the headwaters of the Columbia River.  The Canadians and Wikipedia would sharply disagree, but state and federal government and non-profit websites point to Silver Bow Creek in Butte as the headwaters to the Clark Fork River, a “major headwaters stream” of the Columbia River.  Anyone who knows rivers knows that if you start with forks, you end up with the main body of the river sometime downhill. If you trace the Columbia River upstream from the Pacific Coast, you will…

Les Gara Stands Up for Alaska’s Salmon – Where is Captain Zero?

“Destroying a wild salmon stream to sell coal to China is about the worst idea in Alaska’s proud history of salmon protection.  We’ve always promoted responsible mines.  But this one is irresponsible,” said Representative Les Gara, of state plans allowing dredging of eleven miles of the Chuitna River’s tributaries to keep moving forward. We couldn’t agree more. On October 26, Gara wrote to Governor Sean Parnell and Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources Dan Sullivan (no relation to the hinky Mayor) seeking proof of any wild salmon streams that have been so badly dredged, and that have fully recovered.  So far……

State of Alaska Sues Lake & Peninsula Borough Over No Pebble Vote

Those darned uppity citizens. The Pebble Partnership already sued them once to keep an initiative off the local ballot. It didn’t work.  The Save Our Salmon initiative on the Lake & Peninsula Borough ballot was recently passed by local residents near Bristol Bay. It will give the Borough and its residents the right to decide if they want the continent’s largest open pit mine in their back yard, which happens to also be on the shores of the largest wild salmon fishery on the continent. Not surprisingly, and even after the success of the mining proponents to invalidate scores of…

Mudflix – Bristol Bay and the Threat of Pebble Mine

Seven minutes and 23 seconds. This is one of the best short videos I have seen on the proposed Pebble Mine. It’s a fantastic tool for those who are not familiar with the issue, and even though I am, I found it riveting. Interviews with local residents at the end are wonderful, and moving. The images of the region are breathtaking. I sincerely hope that all of you take that seven minutes and 23 seconds to get informed, or stay current on this issue that is so very important to Alaskans, and to anyone who cares about the preservation of…

Pebble Mine and the Foreign Fox in Alaska’s Legal Hen House

By Shannyn Moore We take the 49th star on our nation’s flag for granted. That was a hard fight, and statehood wasn’t won on the first pass or even the second. The tipping point and fuel came in large part from the “We-don’t-like-being-bossed-around-by-outsiders” attitude of Alaskans. It’s a bit ironic when we look at ourselves 50-plus years later. This week at the Alaska Energy Council luncheon, oil lobbyists and Republican lawmakers sat side by side at the head table. I guess I should be grateful they’re fraternizing in public instead of in a room at the Baranof. I long for…

Actor’s Disappointing Role: Pebble Shill

By Shannyn Moore As much time as we spend watching movies, it’s easy to believe that actors take jobs because they identify with some part of a film. The wool was ripped from my eyes this week. I’ve watched actor Wes Studi in films for years — “Geronimo,” “Dances with Wolves” and “Avatar,” to name a few. He’s beautiful — a classic, stoic American Indian; a noble face absent of fear and seemingly full of ancient knowledge. He’s only acting, and I shouldn’t be disappointed. I got my movie ticket’s worth. But that’s why we buy tickets in the first…