Headwaters mining development in the transboundary watersheds could produce water pollution harmful to downstream Southeast Alaska fishing and tourism industries while offering few, if any, Alaska side economic benefits. Alaskans are circulating a petition to their congressional delegation urging U.S. State Department involvement toward safeguarding regional fishing and tourism interests in these international watersheds. The online petition can be accessed here.
The Wild Border watersheds embrace the land and traditional territory of First Nations and Native Alaskans. Their voices, foremost, must be integral to planning and decision-making regarding proposed regional development.
No Environmental Assessments for proposed projects are currently open for public comment in the Wild Border region. We will publicize opportunities for submitting public comment as they occur.
Of course, communication any time with government decision makers on both sides of the border offering views regarding proposed development or ongoing issues may be useful.
For now, we encourage learning more about the extraordinary ecological and cultural values of the transboundary watersheds. Read about them. Hike the mountains and float the rivers. Go fishing. Explore these wild and rugged watersheds if you get a chance, and tell your stories, and theirs. These experiences will be profound for those fortunate enough to truly connect with the Wild Border region. If the transboundary watersheds remain little known beyond potential mineral and hydro values, drastic change relative to conservation values will be inevitable. The rivers need voices, now.