Celebrating 40 Years of Conservation Work
To promote ecosystem integrity, protect quality of life, and foster environmental awareness in northern Southeast Alaska.
Lynn Canal Conservation (LCC) is a grassroots conservation organization based in Haines, Alaska. We rely on a healthy environment to provide jobs, subsistence foods, recreation, and quality of life. LCC has a long-term commitment to the health of fish and wildlife populations and to regulations that promote clean water and stream protection for watersheds important to commercial, sport, and subsistence salmon fisheries. Protecting fish habitat is an essential part of a healthy economic future for our region.
AP&T Scraps Connelly Lake
On Friday, June 14th Glen Martin of AP&T released a letter to FERC surrendering their Connelly Lake Hydroelectric Project preliminary permit. Stating "Although AP&T believes the project site to be technologically feasible, currently there is not enough electrical load to make it economical. This coupled with the lack of local support will not allow project development in the near term". Learn More about Salmon-safe Hydroelectric and why LCC opposed Connelly Lake development.
See John Dengler Images of Connelly Lake
Hear KHNS Coverage
Haines Highway Realignment
The $37 million Haines Highway project plans to widen the paved highway to 36 feet, improve drainage, straighten selected curves to a 55 mph design speed where possible, and other improvements. The Haines highway project Environmental Assessment and other documents are available online.
Lynn Canal Conservation, Inc. has been actively involved in issues surrounding the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve since the ceation of the Preserve in 1982 and LCC is urging and EIS be conducted because NEPA requires that any action that may significantly impact the environment requires and EIS.
The Environmental Assessment (EA) mentions the following impacts:
· Filling 8.5 acres (14,230 lineal feet /2.7 miles) along Chilkat River banks.
· Impacting 22 anadromous (salmon) tributaries that flow into the Chilkat River.
· Re-aligning 8 of those tributaries.
· Filling 12.5 acres of high-value wetlands that provide fish passage and rearing habitat, cycle nutrients, and help control flooding.
Constantine Metal Resources owner of the Palmer Project signed into a join-venture agreement with a Japanese zinc & copper refining company, Dowa Metals & Mining in February of 2013, which will bolster exploration of the inferred resource deposit at the Palmer project. According to a Northern News Minor article, “Palmer was on hold for the past few years due to lack of funding, sagging share prices and a gloomy market”.
The newly funded Constantine recently submitted a Summer 2013 permit application to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) detailing upcoming exploration plans. Exploratory drilling will require use of water fed by glacial melt from Saksaia, Boundary and Little Jarvis Glaciers, flowing into the Klehini River, which empties into the Chilkat River. Drilling fluids, lubricants and resulting effluent contain many components that can harm fish. The Chilkat watershed provides outstanding habitat for all five species of wild Pacific salmon, and the impacts of exploratory drilling on water quality are uncertain. Because watershed protection is essential LCC formally requested that an Environmental Assessment (EA) be conducted for the 2013 Constantine Metal Resources exploration-drilling project to determine if diamond core drilling has any significant impacts on water quality.
Newly hatched fry and reproducing fish are more sensitive to metals than at any other life stage, and both occur in the Klehini and Chilkat Rivers. Because clean water and salmon are public resources, and because the potential for harm to these resources from mining copper-zinc ore is relatively high, LCC formally requested that DNR respond to several questions related to regulation and disposal of excess drill fluids.
Comments to DNR were submitted on April 15, 2013 and LCC still awaits a response from DNR.
High Country News Article about Mining Risks in the Bald Eagle Preserve
Toxic Herbicides Ordinance
Earlier this year, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation eliminated the public review process and permitting requirement for using herbicides and pesticides on state land. This prompted Petersburg’s borough assembly to consider a local ordinance on herbicide and pesticide spraying earlier this month.
According to a KFSK story, former city councilor and retired state fishery biologist Barry Bracken urged the Petersburg assembly to take action, saying that spraying herbicides and pesticides could harm the reputation and habitat for Alaska’s salmon. “Alaska markets our wild salmon to the world, touting our pristine waters,” Bracken said. “Applying toxic chemicals to the upland habitat would certainly make that a questionable claim. Spraying our uplands could negatively impact productivity of local salmon streams. Even the small tributaries are important fish rearing habitat.”
The proposed ordinance in Petersburg was drafted with the help of Pam Miller from Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) and LCC is pursuing a similar ordinance be drafted and submitted to the Haines Assembly.
Read the draft Toxic Herbicides Ordinance