Time to make a difference............
Time to make a difference............
Unfortunately, Pebble Mine cannot be beaten by public opinion at this time. The company has been given the right to apply for the permit. If the permit details are in order and the company can convince the state of Alaska that they can do it with a reasonable chance of success and without a probability of catostrophic harm they will get the permit.
If they are shut down before the permitting process the monies spent by the company to apply will have to be paid back by the State.
The hope is the permit application will be lacking in several important ways and rejected. That takes time. Rumor has it the EIS will be the largest ever assembled...
I am entirely opposed to the mine for a lot of reasons centered on a simple risk:reward ratio but covering a lot of the idea of the monster earthen dam(s) in active seismic areas... It is a bad idea and several responsible companies studied it and spent a lot of money on it before deciding it could not/should not be done...
After speaking at great length with the attorney representing the current primary legal action against Pebble I have discovered a few things worth mentioning and have changed my earlier "Let the permitting system stop it" stance.
Our governor prior to Sarah P., Frank "The Bank" Murkowski (father of our disgusting senator Lisa), worked some tricks I was not aware of... The land Pebble sits on was designated as having no wildlife or subsistence value through a political game... To determine values for each aspect of the land they used a questionaire designed for coastal marine habitat. It did not ask about caribou and moose use, but rather asked how many walrus haul-outs there are (what, 100 miles inland?) and other marine life questions...
If they are willing to lie, cheat, and steal; buy votes and government support; immediately write off Talarik and Upper Talarik Creeks a little thing like working the system during permitting is not going to be any big deal. It is going to take a lot of pressure from every direction and public protests will be required, hang any and all costs.
The attorney I spoke with feels the end game is the important part or rejection will be met with new applications to address the objections. He suggests a buy-out is the only way to go... and because the possible shut-down of the project is very real the price should not be too great. The land is owned by the State and would probably require legislation to either set it aside, or money spent to buy the mineral rights by an organization designed to hold it without potential for development.
Anyway, I just flew over Pebble yesterday on a gorgeous day and there is a lot to lose. I fished the Kvichak for a week and caught lots of very big rainbows and grayling... It would be a shame to lose it...
Thanks for the additional information. What can we in the lower 48 do to continue the fight aginst this development?
Just found this in the local paper, though it is weeks old... I was sheep hunting when it was reported, so I missed it and apologize for that. This is the lawsuit and attorney for same I posted of here on 6-17... They are making progress...
Legal settlement with state could affect Pebble mine
Critic says the decision 'borders on scandalous,' but state official disagrees.
By BECKY BOHRER
By BECKY BOHRER
Published: September 19th, 2012 11:01 PM
Last Modified: September 19th, 2012 11:02 PM
JUNEAU -- The state's natural resources department will have to justify its rationale for how it re- designated land use in the Bristol Bay region nearly a decade ago, a process that could have ramifications for the proposed Pebble prospect.
An agreement in a 2009 case brought by tribes, Trout Unlimited and fishermen calls on the department to make revisions to its 2005 land use plan. Plaintiffs' attorney Geoffrey Parker said Wednesday that the plan -- drafted as interest in the massive gold and copper prospect near the headwaters of one of the world's premier salmon fisheries was heating up -- eliminated more than 90 percent of prior inland habitat classifications in the region, with a tilt toward mining.
The plan was an update to a 1984 land use plan, which Parker said mainly classified lands in the region for multiple uses, meaning all uses had to be given consideration. The 2005 plan, he said, moved more toward single classifications.
It primarily used marine criteria, things like walrus and sea lion haul-outs or herring spawning areas, to determine if inland upland areas qualified as fish and wildlife habitat, he said, but did not include consideration for caribou and moose wintering and calving areas. It also expressly excluded sport hunting and fishing from the definition of recreation for recreational lands.
Parker said the decisions "border on scandalous."
"I use the words 'border on scandalous' because this is clearly to benefit Pebble," he said.
The Pebble Limited Partnership, the group behind the Pebble prospect, didn't form until 2007, but Parker said there was already interest in the mineral deposit at the time the plan was written.
Marty Parsons, deputy director of the department's Division of Mining, Land and Water, said he was not in his current position when the plan was written. But he said that, from the work he's seen, people involved were careful to work with the resources in the region and to accurately identify them, without a bias one way or the other in regards to development.
The agreement, recently signed off on by a judge, calls on the state to make a number of revisions and reclassifications, including adding caribou and moose considerations to the list of criteria used to identify sensitive habitats and revising the definition of recreation to include sport hunting and fishing. The department also is to reclassify as wildlife habitat the spawning and rearing areas of navigable anadromous waters.
Once the plan is reopened, "everything is up for grabs again," Parker said, including debate over the classification of lands involving the Pebble prospect.
The agreement "should, and may well, affect Pebble, but I think we'll be arguing how much it will affect Pebble," he said.
Parsons said any other potential reclassification of lands won't be known until the department completes its process. It is to issue a draft of its revisions and take public comment. The department has until next September to issue a final decision.
"Please make sure people know this is an open, public process," he said.
The lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice, meaning the fight over land in the region and the state's process could continue.
A Pebble Partnership spokesman has said the group is on track to release a mine plan this year or early next year, as well as advance during that timeline to the permitting phase. The court agreement does not affect the group's ongoing work.
The Pebble Partnership has called the deposit one of the largest of its kind in the world, with the potential of producing 80.6 billion pounds of copper, 107.4 million ounces of gold and 5.6 billion pounds of molybdenum over decades.
Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2012/09/19/263125...#storylink=cpy