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September 26, 2021

Headlines:

Parnell Gets Fish Slapped

When one grapples for a visual allegory of what happened to the Parnell administration this week, it’s hard to think of anything more appropriate than this: That’s Sean Parnell on the right, and the Anchorage Superior Court on the left. The Superior Court ruled that the constitutional rights of Alaskans have been violated by the current administration when Parnell & Co. refused to process a four-year-old application to reserve water in the Chuitna River watershed for wild salmon. “Today’s ruling is a victory for every Alaskan who wants to protect wild salmon and the Alaskan way of life,” said Ron…

And Now, a Message from Gov. Sean Parnell

Governor Parnell and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, headed up by Daniel Sullivan, rejected a petition on Friday filed by local citizens seeking to protect wild Alaska salmon streams from coal strip mining in Upper Cook Inlet. And by Upper Cook Inlet, I mean directly across from Anchorage in the villages of Tyonek and Beluga. The massive Chuitna Coal project would need to drain wetlands, and completely remove productive salmon streams which are home to all five species of Alaskan salmon in a totally unprecedented act that would make all salmon streams in the state vulnerable to the bulldozer…

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……

Governor Sean Parnell Supports Destruction of Thriving Salmon Habitat for Coal

Mudflats readers will remember coverage over the last year of the issue of the “Unsuitable Lands Petition” that Cook Inletkeeper and the Chuitna Citizens Coalition submitted to the state. Basically, what this petition did was to put forth the idea that certain areas are just plain unsuitable for coal strip mining – specifically the areas directly on either side of the Chuit River (above), and its tributaries that were deemed “important salmon habitat” for Cook Inlet. The petition, if successful, would ensure that a narrow ribbon of land – 50 feet on either side of tributaries, and 100 feet on…

A Lawsuit in Gov. Sean Parnell’s Future? Stonewalling Angers Anti-Coal Groups.

~The mouth of the Chuit River, between Tyonek and Beluga, Alaska Remember, way back last year when I rode a bus in a snowstorm to go hear testimony in Kenai? It was all about whether to designate the land around the Chuit River “unsuitable” for coal mining. The way it stands now, PacRim Coal plans to (for the first time ever) actually dig up eleven miles of productive salmon stream for a giant open pit coal mine.  “Don’t worry,” they say. “We’ll just put it back the way it was when we’re done.” Well, it doesn’t take a biologist to…

Chuitna Coal Hearing in Kenai Draws a Crowd (updated*)

*A little episode of premature posting. All photos are now here. The “Magic Bus” pulled out of the parking lot in midtown Anchorage packed to the gunwales. People came out on a weekday evening, with the threat of an impending blizzard in Turnagain Pass, knowing they wouldn’t be home until well after midnight, to give public testimony on an issue that will impact every Alaskan, and that most have never heard of. Despite the fact that the specific project addressed by this petition is across Cook Inlet, and local residents of the area only amount to a couple hundred, the ramifications…

Voices from the Flats – Citizens Speak Out for Salmon Over Coal

~The mouth of the Chuitna River where 7 million gallons/day of mine waste would pour into Cook Inlet every day, right across from Anchorage, if the Chuitna Coal project goes through. By Bill Sherwonit I wish to add my voice, again, to the many and diverse Alaskans who oppose the destruction of a Cook Inlet salmon stream for the sake of a coal mine. And I urge other Alaskans to join the effort to stop the proposed Chuitna coal strip mine, by either attending a public hearing in Kenai on Jan. 19, or by sending comments to the state’s Department…