February 2010 - Alaska Brief - Newsletter
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February 2010 Legal Brief

Dear Friend, One of the hallmarks of Trustees for Alaska is our capacity to respond to a wide range of threats from one end of this vast state to the other. We are unique in our ability to provide free legal representation on so many environmental issues. Please read on to learn more about our current work.

Groups Seek Designation that the Chuit River Watershed is Unsuitable for Coal Mining to Protect Salmon

On the west side of Cook Inlet, roughly 45 miles from Anchorage, the Chuit River and its tributaries form one of the most important salmon-producing systems in Southcentral Alaska. All five species of Pacific salmon found in Alaska originate in the Chuit River watershed, and salmon from the watershed are integral to local subsistence, commercial and sport fisheries. However, despite local concern and recognition by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game that the Chuit River and its tributaries are important to anadromous fishes, PacRim Coal, a Delaware-based company owned by Texan investors, has been working with state regulatory agencies to plan an extensive coal strip mine that would unearth roughly eleven miles of a stream that is prime salmon spawning and rearing habitat and dump millions of gallons of pollutants each day into Chuit River tributaries. In response to these threats, Trustees for Alaska, on behalf of the Chuitna Citizens Coalition, an association of individuals living near the proposed mine site, and Cook Inletkeeper, a community-based organization with the mission to protect Alaska’s Cook Inlet, filed a petition with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources seeking to have the streambeds of anadromous water bodies and riparian areas within the Chuit River watershed designated as unsuitable for surface coal mining. If approved, these important lands and streams within the Chuit River watershed would be off limits to surface coal mining and protected from the most serious effect of the Chuitna Coal Mine. While the proposed Chuitna Coal Mine threatens permanent destruction of one of Alaska’s most productive and valued fish-producing systems, and would sacrifice local interests and the Alaskan way-of-life in favor of outside investors, Trustees for Alaska is committed to protecting Alaskan interests and the important fish, wildlife and water resources Alaskans depend upon.

Read full February 2010 Newsletter!

EPA Allows More Pollution from Red Dog Mine, Threatening Alaska’s Water Resources and Jeopardizing Health and Jobs

State Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Threatens the Arctic Refuge