The Palmer Project is a proposed massive sulfide mine at the headwaters of Southeast Alaska’s Chilkat River Watershed, a place known for its pristine waters, biodiversity, rich cultures, and staggering natural beauty. The communities of Haines and Klukwan depend on a healthy watershed for food security and quality of life. Southeast Alaska depends on its salmon runs that fuel the region’s commercial fishing economy, and the world depends on the Chilkat Watershed for its cultural significance, its value as a refuge for species sensitive to climate change, and the way the valley links the temperate rainforest with the interior subarctic ecosystem to the north, building species resilience and offering a corridor for migratory species. The Palmer Project threatens all of that.
Today, I am asking you to take action to ask the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the federal agencies responsible for managing the land and protecting our water, to do their jobs and fulfill their responsibilities on the Palmer Project.
I’ve sent out a few emails in recent months asking you to take action to protect the Chilkat Watershed and Lutak Inlet from mining and ore transport impacts. In those actions, I asked you to weigh in with state agencies and corporate interests. If you haven’t taken those actions, you can still access our full suite of actions at our Chilkat Action Page. There, you can access all of our easy, digital actions, learn more about the Palmer Project and the Chilkat Watershed, watch the short film, “Rock, Paper, Fish,” and help spread the word by signing up to be a social media ambassador. Don’t miss our new line of No Palmer Mine T-shirts, tank tops, and hoodies!
Today’s new actions concern the federal agencies tasked with managing our public lands and waters. We’re working hard to identify every pressure point we can to protect the Chilkat Watershed and Lutak Inlet, and all of these actions are related.
Today’s EPA action asks the agency to step in to conduct due diligence on the Palmer Project’s wastewater discharge permit, and make sure the State of Alaska is considering how wastewater discharged into the ground will likely wind up in the nearby tributaries of the Chilkat River, their responsibility under the Clean Water Act. Because the State of Alaska is not doing its job to protect downstream waters, communities, and fish habitat, and is locking the public out of the decision-making process. So, we need help from the EPA.
Today’s BLM action asks the BLM to fulfill its basic responsibilities to the public by conducting an Environmental Analysis (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analyzing the full direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of the Palmer Project and requiring the Constantine-DOWA Partnership to apply for a right-of-way for their access over and under federal lands to access federal mining claims. Both of these actions would trigger a public process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), resulting in a full evaluation of proposed actions, and opening up public comment periods so you can exercise your right to participate in the decision-making process.
Thank you for taking action to protect the Chilkat Watershed from the proposed Palmer Mine. It’s our job at SEACC to monitor environmental threats to Southeast Alaska, but we cannot effectively protect this place without your help. Your voice goes a long way to help protect the Chilkat Watershed, a place I am so fortunate to call my home. If you’d like to do more, consider a donation to SEACC, to help us continue doing this important work.
Upper Lynn Canal Organizer