Did you see us at AFN?

Members of the Pebble Watch team were available last week at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Anchorage to answer questions, give out copies of past newsletters, and introduce visitors to this web site as a source for educational information and updates related to the development of the proposed Pebble Mine.

Questions we heard at the convention, along with our answers:

Q: Are you “for” or “against” Pebble?

A: Neither. Pebble Watch is an educational effort funded by Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC). Its mission is to provide an impartial source of information that people can reference in order to form their own opinions about the development of the proposed Pebble Mine.

Q: What was that Lake & Pen vote about? Isn’t Pebble stopped now?

A: As it is written, the “Save Our Salmon” initiative that recently passed in the Lake and Peninsula Borough does limit the development of projects more than 640 acres in size, which would include the proposed Pebble Mine. However, the Pebble Limited Partnership and the State of Alaska introduced litigation to stop the initiative even before the October 4 vote. While Alaska Superior Court Judge David Suddock allowed the initiative to go to a vote, he will consider further arguments about the initiative’s validity beginning November 7, 2011.

Q: If BBNC opposes the development of Pebble Mine, how can Pebble Watch be impartial?

A: While BBNC has stated a position against development of the Pebble Mine, it funds the fact-based initiative called Pebble Watch in order to provide an impartial and credible source of information for those interested in learning more. As noted by the Keystone Center in its 2008 “Stakeholder Assessment and Dialogue Feasibility Study for the Proposed Pebble Project,” stakeholders who have not made up their minds about Pebble are seeking “credible scientific information pertaining to existing environmental, social, and economic conditions.” Pebble Watch strives to provide the best sources for such information, to help individuals better understand the science, permitting process and best opportunities to offer public input during the public process involved with development of the Pebble Mine.