I posted the following in response to a story on the Home page but no one looked at it. So I am posting it here so more people will see it. The map is very revealing.
I posted a map of the area that will be impacted by the Pebble Creek mining. The Red areas show the immediate mining areas with claims. This could impact the majority of the waters on the West and South sides of Iliamna Lake. This may be the single best Trout/Salmon fishing in the Northern Hemisphere. Talarik ckeek has some huge Rainbows that is easy to access. A lot of the lodges with planes visit here frequently.
The Nushagak has a Hugh run of Kings every year. You can see on the map that the Mulchatna or Nushagak could be contaminated very easily. You can see one of the red areas sits on a river that feeds the Kvichak river. This river has millions of Red Salmon every year. The Kvichak is a BIG Rainbow heaven. Many 30"+ Rainbows are caught every year. Many of the millions of Salmon passing into Lake Iliamna via the Kvichak River also feed up into the Lake Clark area. Not to mention all the other rivers feeding into Lake Iliamna.
Then when you look at the mustard colored areas that show potential additional areas that may be mined. The only area safe from mining is Katmai Park and Preserve. Protecting the Park would not help the fish much if the lower rivers are contaminated.
Some people are claiming that all of this concern is misplaced and no rivers are going to be destroyed. I lived in Alaska and the mining industry is continually in trouble with water pollution problems. Their one thought is to get the gold and so what if a few fish are killed. The Pebble Creek mine has already had several water violations just getting ready to begin mining. It is a lot easier and cheaper for them to do what they want and then pay a fine. Don't think for a minute that they don't balance fines against cost to make decisions.
I love Alaska and went through the construction of the Alyeska Oil Pipeline. I remember my first trip down from Pump Station 4 to Fairbanks in a Helicopter. When we crested out of the Brooks Range I could see the pipe laid out in front of me going through a beautiful valley. I thought to my self, "my god, what have we done." The pipeline had so much regulation and control that it will be a walk in the park compared to what is going to happen with the Pebble Creek mine. The State is mostly in control and it made the mine possible. I am afraid that the State is too interested in the revenues that will be generated rather than protecting this heaven on Earth country.
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