Found this somewhere else. What happens if there is environmental damage like the Exxon Valdez - who takes the blame?

Source -John Wilson,

For those of you who at some point have an interest in fishing in Alaska you might also have an interest in the fact that some of the best water there is under threat by a "proposed" gold mine. The gold mining company is proposing to "take" two of the salmon rivers for production water. They will then build a 750 foot earthen dam to retain the water from those river to strip mine the drained area. 750 feet is a pretty serious dam. Remember that Bull Shoals is only 300 feet tall.

They are also talking about using a chemical process to strip the gold out of the soil that they remove. It is my understanding that even in "trace" amounts these chemicals are deadly to the fish.

I'll post a map of the proposed area. You will note it is all over the area I just posted a report on. If you give to Trout Unlimited or the Federation of Fly Fishers you might consider supporting these guys. The website fighting this mine is

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There is an extensive article in the Orvis newsletter that just came in that covers the Bristol Bay topic well. My summary of the article and plan is, this is a really terrible deal for the fish and wildlife of the entire region.

A few facts as well as I can remember them:

1. The company wants to build an earthen dam 4.5 miles long and about 750 feet high to contain one contaminated water lake, but there will be two lakes total, unless they decide they need more.

2. Pumping 2,000,000 gallons of crystal clear, pure and drinkable river water daily through the mine's cleaning process so it can be contaminated with heavy metals sounds like a sure fire way to destroy the entire ecosystem.

3. They are already pumping 150,000 gallons a day. The article quotes people who have been there stating you can already see the damage done. One-hundred fifty thousand gallons is a lot of water. Think of 2,000,000 gallons every single day pumped from the river systems.

4. The company guarantees the operation will not damage the ecosystem...............................but if it does, they will fix it! My thought on that statement are, "Oh yeah, you bet. How do you fix a gigantic fishery you have destroyed?

5. Kiss the salmon, grayling and other species goodby, and say so long to the caribou. They will either die or have to move somewhere else to live their lives. Tough break - it was theirs for hundreds of thousands of years until these heavy metal miners came along!

Get your Orvis newsletter and ready the entire article. It is enlightening.


Reference material from the Bristol Bay Alliance and Trout Underground: