Chuitna Coal Strip Mine
Unsuitable for Coal Mining?
Current plans submitted by PacRim Coal call for directly mining through 11 miles of salmon spawning and rearing habitat of Middle Creek, an important tributary that produces 20% of the Silver Salmon for the entire Chuitna River.
Alaska has never before allowed direct mining through a salmon stream, and to do so would set a terrible precedent. Last year, the Department of Natural Resources determined that PacRim's reclamation plans were "technically feasible" despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, and without a single example showing where salmon streams have been built from scratch. Tell Governor Parnell that science is clear and not allow the Chuitna Coal Strip Mine to remove 11 miles of salmon stream.
Click here to send Governor Parnell a letter telling him to keep his promise to "not trade one resource for another."
- Governor Sean Parnell says he will never trade one resource for another. Now is the time for the state to follow up and make it clear that we will not trade wild salmon for dirty coal.
- Responsible mining does not remove or destroy salmon streams.
- The science is clear, Middle Creek (which produces 20% of the Silver Salmon for the entire Chuitna Watershed) will be destroyed if this mine is permitted.
- PacRim has not provided a single example of a strip-mined salmon spawning and rearing habitat that has bee restored to pre-mining productivity.
- There has never been a successful coal strip mine reclamation effort in a watershed as wet, cold, and productive as the Chuitna watershed.
CLICK HERE FOR A SAMPLE LETTER.
Sustainable fisheries are far more valuable to the citizens of Alaska than short-sighted proposals that will irrevocably alter the habitat upon which fish and wildlife depend. Protecting the Chuitna watershed will support local economies based on commercial and sport fisheries as well as subsistence harvest.
Introduction to Chuitna Coal Mine
You may have heard of the plans to develop a massive coal strip mine near the small community of Beluga and the village of Tyonek, 40 miles west of Anchorage across the Cook Inlet. This enormous project would extract more than 1 billion tons of coal over the next 25 years, making it the largest coal mine in Alaskan history.
According to the EPA, if the proposed project is approved, PacRim's development would include a surface coal mine and associated support facilities. The proposed infrastructure would include a mine access road, coal transport conveyor, personnel housing, and an air strip facility. At Ladd Landing, directly on Cook Inlet, a logistic center and coal export terminal would be built. The coal export terminal would include a 10,000-foot trestle constructed into Cook Inlet for the purpose of loading ocean-going coal transport ships.
The residents of the area are concerned about the impacts of the proposed mine on air and water quality, on the lifestyle of the small community which relies on healthy fish stocks, and on disturbance of the surrounding watershed. The Chuitna Citizens Coalition are residents, fishermen, landowners, hunters and recreationalists who have come together to protect the Chuitna River watershed and habitat from the devastating impacts of coal strip mining. Initial development plans call for the daily discharge of 7 million gallons of mine wastewater, the equivalent of dumping 10½ olympic-size swimming pools of industrial waste into the pristine salmon streams of the Chuitna River Watershed.
How You Can Help:
Sign a petition to support a law to prohibit mining through a salmon stream.
Contact Governor Parnell here to tell him you don't want Alaska to trade salmon for coal.
Write a letter to the editor or your elected officials. Click here for tips and contact info.