Mining and salmon don’t mix

Great article in the Oregonian about recreational miners and suction-dredge operations that are ripping up rivers and streams all across the state. “The 1872 Mining Law prevents the government from collecting royalties for minerals extracted from public land while sticking U.S. taxpayers with the tab for cleaning up the mess.”

Also — things are looking pretty good for the opponents of the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay. According to the AP: The possible failure of a dam holding waste from a large-scale mine near the headwaters of one of the world’s premier salmon fisheries in Alaska could wipe out or degrade rivers and streams in the region for decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a draft watershed assessment released Friday.

If you have been living under a rock for the past couple years, you may want to start with Red Gold video (above) as a primer. The Chum has the most detailed analysis of the situation:

The Pebble Mine cannot cheaply or safely dispose of their tailings. So avoid them as an investment. News reports this week talk of tailings dams as big and as long as the Great Wall of China. This is a good analogy. And one day those dams will fail and wipe out the salmon industry, regardless of what you say.

-MS

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