In the news: November 18, 2013

Recent news related to the proposed Pebble mine:

Bristol Bay initiative likely to make it to ballots (

The Associated Press reports that the “Bristol Bay Forever” initiative, which would require legislative approval for large-scale mining projects such as the proposed Pebble mine, appears to have enough signatures to be placed on the ballot next year for a public vote. The Division of Elections expects to certify the proposal in mid-December.

Read the story.

DNR calls off public meetings for permitting bill (
Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has determined that it’s not feasible to hold public meetings to discuss House Bill 77, the controversial legislation that is designed to streamline permitting in regards to water rights. This story from Alaska Public Media describes the issue and quotes DNR deputy commissioner Ed Fogels as saying that the agency is willing to discuss the legislation with anyone who has questions about it, and will also meet with individual stakeholder groups.

Read the story.

Read HB77.

Utah mine becomes debating point in Alaskan environmental fight (KSL Broadcasting, Salt Lake City, Utah)
Reporter John Hollenhorst traveled from Utah to Alaska to develop this story about the proposed Pebble mine. He includes footage from the recent Alaska Native Professional Association (ANPA) meeting that Pebble Watch covered, as well as comments from Pebble project proponents and opponents. Utah’s Bingham Canyon Mine, also called Kennecott Copper Mine, is one of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world. It is owned by Rio Tinto, which is also partly invested in the Pebble project.

Read the story/watch the video.

Dena’ina cultural studies (APRN)
KSKA’s Addressing Alaskans program recently featured two stories related to the culture of the Dena’ina peoples of Southcentral Alaska. “The Importance of Salmon for the Dena’ina,” a presentation by Dr. Alan Boraas focuses on the cultural traditions of the Dena’ina people related to salmon. “Dena’ina Songs,” presented by Craig Coray, highlights songs his father recorded in 1954 in Nondalton. Boraas co-authored the EPA Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment’s “Report on Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Cultural Characterization of the Nushagak and Kvichak Watersheds, Alaska.”

Listen to “The Importance of Salmon for the Dena’ina.”

Listen to Dena’ina Songs.

Young Bad River Documentary featured at Big Water Film Festival (UpNorth Explorer)

A potential mine in Indian country has become “the source of much impassioned debate between those who argue for economic development and more jobs, and those who speak of environmental and social consequences a mine may bring.” Sound familiar? It’s not Pebble. Three teens from the Bad River Tribe in Wisconsin have produced a film to speak about the potential impact of the taconite mine proposed for the Penokee Hills of Ashland and Iron counties, Wisconsin.

Read about the student project.