What does it mean that we are supporting Bristol Bay - the community, the fisheries, and the eco-system? It does not mean that we are anti-mining. It means that we are concerned about the risks and we will do what we have to to hold court until we are absolutely positive that the risks don't outweigh the benefits. If it is possible for the habitat (eco-system and community of Bristol Bay) to harmoniously co-exist with the proposed mine, then pro we are.
Let it be said, that SATELite is not anti-mining. Understandably that would be a contradiction given the jewelry business that spurred the SATELite concept. We are seeking the support for ethical practices that consider the full circle effects of actions. Accountability in all realms - be it community, eco-system, and otherwise.
SATELite chose this years cause for its longevity, specificity, and progressive full circle approach to seeking a desirable outcome - Earthworks.
Their mission in short:
EARTHWORKS is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the destructive impacts of mineral development, in the U.S. and worldwide. EARTHWORKS stands for clean water, healthy communities and corporate accountability. We're working for solutions that protect the earth's resources and communities.
How They Work We fulfill our mission by working with communities and grassroots groups to reform government policies, improve corporate practices, influence investment decisions and encourage responsible materials sourcing and consumption. We expose the health, environmental, economic, social and cultural impacts of mining through work informed by sound science.
I researched a variety of NGO's prior - and Earthworks stuck out as the most solid with the most reasonable principles. In any of my environmental efforts the first thing I ask myself is - If we say "NO" with a hard line, then what is the alternative? in this case meaning - do we have a plan b in case we don't get what we want? Is there a compromise somewhere? if the mine isn't here - will it just be moved somewhere that could easily have similar or more detrimental effects?
Ultimately SATELite will be a non-profit so that the allocation of funds can be much more specific and direct. That process will take some time (and this project was conceptualized in Feb of this year). Currently - we are confident in Earthworks with their solid foundation and vested principles.
What do we need to know to make informed decisions about the proposed mine?
What are the EPA regulations for mining of this nature?
What are Northern Dynasty's and Anglo American's company wide principles in regards to the eco-system?
What are the effects of an open pit mine on the environment? land, water, air
What is the history of the environmental protection efforts in mining?
What is the environmental history of mines of this nature (size, location, timing)? Anglo and Dynasty mines? Alaskan mines?
Are there any new regulations in place that will change the outcome of a new mine relative to the above history?
What are the current promises made by the proposed mine in regards to the eco-system?
Do these companies have a history of upholding these promises?
Do Dynasty and Anglo have a vested interest in Alaska?
Are their current efforts only that which is mandated?
Have these companies addressed the impact their current research has had on the eco-system? What are these impacts? and what has or has not been done?
What are the positives for Alaska and the community in mining this area?
What are the risks?
What are the specific predictions regarding the monetary gain of Alaska and the community?
How long will the mine be active? and what happens when it is no longer operating? to the community & the development that was a direct result of the mine?
Does Alaska support the mine? politically? socially?
Does the Bristol Bay community support the mine?
If the mine does not get passed what is the alternative? Do they move to another area? do they try again later? What needs to happen for us to be confident that Pebble is a healthy and progressive proposition? What needs to happen in order for SATELite and Earthworks to feel as if they have had a positive impact on the future of mining in the larger picture?
Knowing the answers to these questions - understanding why these are the pertinent questions regarding the Pebble Mine - will help you decide where you stand. To make your own decisions see the full document and answers to these questions here...
The anti-Pebble mine campaign has been going on for the last 5 years. Litigation just pushed a vote back to 2011. This is as good as it is bad in that what we are looking for is a happy medium between all.
*Setting back the litigation also allows for more testing and experimenting in the Bristol Bay area. This means - they search for more metal as they expand the range of their testing - offering more incentive for their investors to push harder. This also means that the affects they have had on the immediate eco-system just through their testing will be amplified. Native caribou populations are already changing their migration patterns due to the invasive equipment and helicopters. This affects the ability for Native Alaskans to hunt sustainably.
*Pro-pebble industry supporters are some of the most well funded organizations in the world - because mining is one of the most lucrative industries in the world. More investors have money in mining than any other industry. This means - their priorities - as in most business lie in profits. The potential negative environmental affects are irrelevant to these parties.
*As time draws on the investment of those outside of the forefront of the Grassroots support are more tapped of their resources, and are less inspired. Thus the monetary support on the environmental side is not as strong as it once was. This is why is it more crucial than ever to join us - and support the Bristol Bay Watershed - the surrounding eco-system - the community - the wild Alaskan salmon - the atmosphere - and more.
Are you seeing the pattern here? As they grow stronger - "we" have a history of growing weaker. Are we going to let that happen? SATELite will have no part of that - we hope you feel the same way.