Mining industry leads charge against salmon initiative

Mining companies are putting money into a campaign to defeat the “Stand for Salmon” fish protection initiative.
(Credit Dave Cannon)

Mining companies are putting money into a campaign to defeat the “Stand for Salmon” fish protection initiative.

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Five mining companies have contributed a total of $1 million to the opposition “Stand for Alaska” campaign, including Donlin Gold, which donated $200,000. Kurt Parkan is Donlin’s External Affairs Manager. He noted that mining companies aren’t the only ones opposed to the initiative, pointing to two Native corporations involved in large mining projects.

“It challenges the rights of Calista and the Kuskokwim Corporation to use their land the way they feel they need to, to develop,” he said. “And the case for Donlin Gold, they selected the site for resource development during the ANCSA process and this ballot initiative would prohibit them.”

The Anchorage Daily News reports that Stand For Alaska has raised $1.3 million dollars so far to finance its campaign, most of it coming from five companies with ties to large mining projects in the state.

The initiative, which is being challenged in the courts, would create stronger protections under state law for Alaska’s salmon streams and rivers.