Halt Plans to Build Destructive Mine


Target: Ron Thiessen CEO, President of Northern Dynasty Minerals

Goal: Stop plans to disfigure Alaskan Bay Region with construction of dirty mine

The President of Northern Dynasty Minerals, Ron Thiessen, plans to build a multi-billion dollar mega-mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The $6 billion dollar project called the Pebble Mine may be the worst corporate attack on America’s natural landscape and resources in decades. If the Pebble Mine is successfully built more than 6,000 acres of wetlands, ponds, lakes and streams would be demolished — making it one of the largest and most expensive wipe-outs of an untouched landscape to date.

Alaska’s Bristol Bay is home to a wide variety of wildlife and Native communities that depend greatly on the natural resources that they bay offers. The bay sustains about 46 percent of the entire world’s salmon supply and is home to the wild sockeye salmon — the main food group of Native Alaskan cultures. If built, more than 94 miles of streams would be destroyed, 22 of which are known to provide salmon with a proper spawning and rearing environment. Not only does the Pebble Mine project pose a serious threat to the livelihoods of salmon, rare wildlife and Native Alaskan cultures, but its affects will be felt far beyond the Alaskan region.

Gold and copper mining is an extremely dirty process that is estimated to produce an unprecedented 99 percent waste. Runoff and uncollected leachate always ends up polluting water supplies, even with the invention of modern mining practices. In a recent report, the EPA estimated that the Pebble Mine’s massive runoff could have catastrophic ramifications on the entire nation over time.

Although CEO and President of Northern Dynasty Minerals, Ron Thiessen, has said repeatedly that he doesn’t seek to harm the Alaskan Bay Region his actions speak otherwise. Thiessen has opted to push forward with the Pebble Mine project, stating that the EPA’s reports are ‘flawed’ and ‘poorly executed.’ By signing this petition you’ll tell Ron Thiessen to stop the mega-mine project and to take the concerns of the EPA seriously.


Dear Ron Thiessen,

For years the EPA and other environmental groups have relentlessly warned you of the catastrophic damages your Pebble Mine project could have on our environment. Despite this, you’ve chosen to ignore their concerns and push forward with your multi-billion dollar mega mine without an inkling of solicitude for the wildlife or people that depend so greatly on this largely untouched landscape. The Bristol Bay is a fruitful expanse home to nearly 46 percent of the entire world’s supply of wild salmon and the native Yup’ik and Dena’ina Eskimos. If you follow through with the Pebble Mine project not only will you kill millions of fish and wildlife, but eventually you’ll annihilate native peoples who considerably depend on the bay.

I urge you to understand that the Pebble Mine spells out nothing but trouble in the long run. From our water supply, to the grizzly bears that eat salmon to survive, to the neighboring businesses and parks that surround Alaska’s Bay Region — all would be lost if you built the Pebble Mine.

Leave America’s natural landscapes and resources alone and, for once, think about the planet.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: jitze via everystockphoto

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One Comment

  1. I wrote directly to Northern Dynasty Minerals about this matter, and this is what they replied:
    “Dear Helene Beck,

    Thank you for your email.

    As you may know, the Pebble Partnership (of which Northern Dynasty is a 100% owner) has not yet finalized a proposed development plan for the Pebble Project, nor applied for federal and state permits under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We can assure you that both Northern Dynasty and the Pebble Partnership understand the significance of the Bristol Bay salmon fishery, and will not proceed with a proposed development at Pebble unless and until we are convinced that such a project will co-exist with these fisheries.

    Perhaps more importantly, the Pebble Project will not be permitted unless and until we can demonstrate to federal and state regulatory agencies that the project will protect water, fish and other natural resources of the Bristol Bay region. The NEPA process will provide for an extremely rigorous and transparent environmental assessment of the Pebble Project. It is expected to last several years, provide significant and ongoing opportunities for public involvement, and will ensure that US and Alaskan environmental standards (some of the highest such standards in the world) will be strictly enforced.

    We would encourage you to take every opportunity to ensure that your concerns and interests are addressed over the course of the NEPA permitting process.

    There are other considerations with respect to the Pebble Project and its potential future development that we would like to point out to you – not in an attempt to change your view of the project, but only to provide a broader context.

    · Pebble is located on State of Alaska lands that have been specifically designated for mineral exploration and development through two public land use planning processes, the last concluding in 2005. It is against this land-use planning context that Northern Dynasty and subsequently the Pebble Partnership have invested $720 million on geological, engineering, environmental and other technical studies in an effort to design and permit a modern, environmentally sound and socially responsible mine at Pebble.

    · The socioeconomic conditions in the Bristol Bay region, particularly for those villages near the Pebble Project, are very severe. The vast majority of the value of the Bristol Bay commercial salmon fishery does not benefit local people. There has been and continues to be a significant out-migration of Alaska Native people from local villages as the jobs and personal income required to live a traditional lifestyle in rural Alaska are simply not available to them.

    We believe that a responsibly developed Pebble mine can be part of the solution to the serious socioeconomic challenges facing these communities. We are actively working with Alaska Native leaders to ensure that local people benefit from our investment in the region today through training, employment and contracting opportunities. In the longer-term, we believe that Pebble can become a central part of a more sustainable economic future for the people of this region.

    Again, we don’t expect these points to change your current perspective on Pebble. We are merely trying to share some of our company’s perspective on the project and its promise for the region, the state and the country. We certainly welcome your involvement and interest in the public discussion about our project, and hope that you would also accept the legitimacy of our views.

    Best regards,”

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