Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 2:08 PM on Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pebble mine: a statewide issue

Dear Gov. Parnell,

I beg to differ with your office stating that Bristol Bay is a "local area." It covers hundreds of square miles and thousands of people. This comment is in reference to your press aide's (Sharon Leighow) response to a question concerning your lawsuit against the Lake and Peninsula Borough initiative to stop further development of huge scale mining.

That initiative may have been voted on by residents of Bristol Bay, but it concerns everyone in this state. To trade a wonderful life-giving food resource for precious metals is fool hardy, penny wise and pound foolish. Having lived in Egegik, Ekwok and New Stuyahok, I understand the necessity of salmon as opposed to metals. Take away salmon from the bay area and it won't make any difference if there are a few jobs created the residents will not thrive.

Please also consider that the state of Alaska gets a pittance in resource tax revenue from any mining venture. The tax law (circa 1800s) drastically needs revision.

I am not against mining. We need to develop resources, but it has to be done in responsible ways. Pebble Mine is not a responsible, safe proposal no matter what the owners are saying. There is too much risk of catastrophic damage.

In closing, I implore you to withdraw this suit and do all your office can possibly do to halt this particular mining development.

Shirley Forquer