MEDIA ADVISORY

May 8, 2014

                                                     

Taku and other rivers flowing from Canada to AK  Credit: Rivers Without Borders

Taku and other rivers flowing from Canada to AK
Credit: Rivers Without Borders

                                   

MEDIA CONTACTS: Paula Dobbyn, pdobbyn@tu.org, 907-230-1513; Chris Zimmer, zimmer@riverswithoutborders.org, 907-988-8173

HEN: The panel discussion begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 10, and concludes at noon. A media opportunity for interviews and photographs will occur immediately afterward.

WHEN: The panel discussion begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 10, and concludes at noon. A media opportunity for interviews and photographs will occur immediately afterward.

The panel discussion begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 10, and concludes at noon. A media opportunity for interviews and photographs will occur immediately afterward.

WHAT: A panel discussion about threats to Southeast Alaska’s greatest salmon rivers from large-scale mine development across the border in British Columbia. The panel discussion will feature representatives from Southeast Alaska as well as Canadian First Nations. An opportunity to interview the panelists and others working on the issue will immediately follow the panel discussion. This event is part of the Western Mining Action Network’s biennial conference, held this year in Anchorage, Alaska. Western Mining Action Network (WMAN) consists of nearly 100 organizations, from racially and economically diverse communities, across the United States and Canada. WMAN provides opportunities for locally-based citizen groups to educate themselves, influence decision making, and cooperate to create positive social change that goes beyond the borders of any one location or issue.

 

WHY: The transboundary Taku, Stikine and Unuk Rivers begin in Canada and flow into Alaska. They are the backbone of the economy and cultures of Southeast Alaska and Northwest British Columbia. As some of the last rivers on the West Coast with abundant wild salmon runs, the Taku, Stikine and Unuk support thousands of fishing jobs, families, and culture. Not only are fishing and tourism the top two sectors of this region’s economy, over 20 Alaska Tribes and Canadian First Nations have relied on these rivers for commerce, culture and nutrition for at least ten thousand years. The Taku, Stikine, and Unuk River watersheds are facing rapid, large-scale industrialization on the B.C. side that could forever transform this unique transboundary region. A variety of B.C. mines are in various stages of permitting and construction in the headwaters of the Taku, Stikine and Unuk, along with roads, large-scale hydro projects, transmission lines, and Hoover-sized dams to store billions of tons of acid-generating waste rock and mine tailings. Among the projects is the KSM mine, which would have three open pits and an underground mine. It would be one of the world’s largest mines and its toxic waste facilities would lie in the headwaters of the Unuk, one of Southeast Alaska’s largest king salmon producers. The Unuk flows into Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska. 

 

 WHERE: Hilton Hotel, 500 W 3rd Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501, (Denali Room, 2nd Floor, West Tower, room location subject to change.)

 WHO: Speakers at the media opportunity will include Chris Zimmer, Alaska director of Rivers Without Borders; Guy Archibald, Mining and Clean Water Coordinator, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council; Chief Tony Morgan, Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs; Rob Sanderson, Second Vice President, Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska; Tis Peterman, Environmental Director, Wrangell Cooperative Association.

 FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://wildborderwatersheds.org/

 

Paula Dobbyn  |  Director of Communications, Alaska Program

 

pdobbyn@tu.org  907-230-1513|  

3105 Lakeshore Ave. Suite 102B, Anchorage, AK 99517

 www.americansalmonforest.org | www.tu.org

 

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