500 signatures reached
To: Premier Horgan, Minister Heyman, Minister Mungall
Clean up the Tulsequah Chief Mine in northwest B.C.
Last year marked six decades of toxic acidic wastewater flowing from the abandoned Tulsequah Chief mine into the Tulsequah River in the Taku watershed in northwest British Columbia, and the traditional territory of the Taku River Tlingit First Nation. It’s time to stop the flow of acidic wastewater, and start protecting the spectacular ecological and cultural values of the Taku watershed.
We urge the Government of British Columbia to help turn the page on Tulsequah Chief by closing the mine site for good. This would protect the Taku watershed – the region’s top salmon producing river system – and the people in B.C. and Alaska that call it home. The Province of B.C. has the choice to protect the salmon rich Taku watershed, fulfill their commitment to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, reduce tensions with Alaska, and avoid further delays caused by more failed attempts to revive this mine.
We the undersigned, urge the B.C. government to assume responsibility for the cleanup and closure of the Tulsequah Chief, immediately stop the acidic wastewater from entering the river, and develop and implement a comprehensive cleanup plan. It's time to stop this illegal pollution of prime salmon habitat.
Why is this important?
For 60 years, toxic acid mine drainage (AMD) from the Tulsequah Chief mine has been flowing into the Taku watershed, in violation of the federal Fisheries Act, B.C. water quality standards, B.C. mine permits and an agreement with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation.
An updated Aquatic Ecological Risk Assessment released by the B.C. government on July 18, 2017 shows the pollution problem is worse than previously reported and documents “unacceptable risks” from the ongoing AMD.
On November 6 2018 the BC government issued a Request for Proposals for clean-up and closure of the mine. We are encouraged by this step forward and by what we understand to be a genuine intent to finally clean up the mine. But there is a lot of latitude as to what closure and clean up would be. We must do all that we can to ensure that it be comprehensive and permanent and worthy of a world-class international salmon system like the Taku.
There is very widespread opposition to the mine, including the associated proposed access road and river barging system. In 2012 the Taku River Tlingit First Nation in B.C. passed a Joint Clan Mandate opposing the mine. The Douglas Indian Association and the Organized Village of Kasaan in Southeast Alaska recently passed resolutions calling for cleanup and closure of Tulsequah Chief.
Imagine a place where all five species of wild Pacific salmon hatch, mature, and then return to spawn in fresh, unfettered waterways. A place so vast and diverse large mammals like wolves, grizzly and black bears, wolverine, and lynx live out their natural predator-prey cycles without roads to fragment their habitat. A place with globally significant populations of moose, mountain goats, sheep, and woodland caribou, as well as migratory birds, including the Trumpeter swan.
Then imagine, in this age of climate threats, declining wild salmon populations, and loss of habitat, gambling the wealth of this watershed away for the small quantity of mineral resources buried on the river’s edge.
Please sign this petition to the B.C. government. Let them know that 60 years is long enough to gamble with the health of this precious ecosystem. It’s time to stop the flow of acidic wastewater, and start protecting the spectacular ecological and cultural values of the Taku watershed!
How it will be delivered
Email, and in person at the Legislative Assembly of BC