Some Y-K Delta Residents Are Worried Over The Final Donlin EIS

Jun 1, 2018

People started trickling into a meeting May 31, 2018 to voice concerns about the final Environmental Impact Statement from the Army Corps of Engineers for the proposed Donlin gold mine.
Credit Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

About 25 residents from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta met on May 31, 2018 to air concerns about the final Environmental Impact Statement issued last month for the proposed Donlin gold mine.

Also attending the meeting were two representatives from the Stand For Salmon ballot initiative. David Cannon, a fish biologist who worked for the Kuskokwim River Watershed Council and lives in Aniak, spearheaded the gathering. He is trying to educate the Y-K Delta about what he sees as the dangers of the proposed mine.

Lindsey Bloom, a fishing advocate based in Juneau and one of the members of the Stand for Salmon initiative, urged the people in the room to protect the salmon in the Kuskokwim Delta. The final EIS isn’t the last decision in the lengthy permitting process.

The meeting triggered emotions as one by one, people shared what the Kuskokwim river means to them. Bev Hoffman, a Bethel resident, says that the mine has divided close communities in the Y-K Delta.

The final EIS wrapped up its comment period for a section of the study at the end of May. The Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled to roll out its Record of Decision in August that will choose whether or not to issue a federal permit for the mine.