Wild Border Watersheds

New mine plan brings back old fears in Southeast Alaska (Alaska Dispatch News)

Facing difficulty in getting a road through rugged terrain to Canada's Tulsequah Chief mine, the company that wants to reopen the old gold, zinc and copper mine is now planning instead on bringing the ore out through Alaska by barge.

That's raising concerns in Alaska's capital city of Juneau, where the barges would pass through. The Canadian mine is just east of Juneau.

Chieftain Metals Corp. of Canada has provided few details so far about what that new barging plan would entail and what sort of regulatory hurdles there might be in either Alaska or British Columbia.

But the mine and its new proposed access plan are renewing fears for the Taku River, one of Southeast's top salmon-producing rivers, and a part of the foundation for local gillnet, sport fishing and tourism industries. The Tulsequah River flows into the Taku, which would be used for the barging plan.

Alaska Fish and Game officials say the Taku River drains one of the largest almost-entirely roadless watersheds on the West Coast, and provides spawning habitat for all five Pacific salmon species and habitat for an abundance of other wildlife.

(To read complete source article, click "Alaska Dispatch News")

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