Click here to join Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Home Who We Are What We Do Focus Issues Essays-Books Photo Gallery Links Current News
Click here to join Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Taking Action: Proposed Chuit River Coal Strip Mine
Links and Information

Chuitna Coal Mine Location The state of Alaska is considering setting a dangerous precedent by permitting what would be the largest coal strip mine in the state right through a salmon-bearing stream that flows into Cook Inlet about 45 miles west of Anchorage. (see map to left)

PacRim Coal, a Delaware corporation, would divert a part of the Chuit River watershed to dig a pit hundreds of feet deep, spanning some 32 square miles, to extract over 1 billion tons of sub bituminous coal for export to Asia. Afer the life of the mine, expected to be some 25 years, then they propose that they can then fill the pit and return the river to it's former self and productivity.

Our Alaska state constitution specifies that we develop our resources for the maximum benefit of our citizens, but it also demands we do so responsibly and ensure the sustainability of our fish and wildlife and the habitat they depend upon.

This mandate for development combined with necessary and prudent protections was clearly reinforced by Governor Parnell in a speech he gave to the Alaska Federation of Natives in October 2010, when he said: "Where resource development is concerned, making Alaska more competitive is one of my top priorities. And my commitment to you remains the same: I will never trade one resource for another. Any decision to approve or deny requests to explore or develop Alaska�s resources should be based on sound, current science and local consultation." Chuit River

The current science and local consultations with the public are in, and overwhelmingly say that this mine, if permitted, would have devastating effects on the salmon population and watershed of the Chuitna.

As former ADFG fisheries biologist and noted Alaska outdoors author Jim Rearden has said: "To my knowledge no agency or private company has ever destroyed a beautiful salmon river, claiming it will remediate, or replace it, in its former shape...only God would be capable of reproducing a viable 11 miles of salmon stream and all its fixings, and it might even take Him some time."

Never before has mining right through a salmon stream been allowed to take place. It should not be permitted to happen now or in the future.

Visit some of the links below to learn more, and learn how you can help us in voicing opposition to this coal strip mine. Thank you!

Write and send a Letter to Governor Parnell Using this Form
  (Urge him to keep his word and not trade salmon for coal)

Read opinion by AK BHA co-chair Dave Lyon

Read written comments from Alaska outdoors writer Jim Rearden on proposed Chuitna coal mine

There oughta be a Law Against Mining Through a Salmon Stream!