A resolution urging the International Joint Commission to get involved in the issue of transboundary mines will be in front of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly on Monday.
The International Joint Commission allows U.S. and Canadian officials to talk about and, hopefully, resolve issues of mutual concern. A number of proposed mines close to rivers that flow from British Columbia into Alaska have raised concerns among conservation, fishing industry and Native groups.
The summertime dam breach at the Mount Polley Mine, which released millions of cubic meters of tailings, heightened those concerns.
The Assembly’s resolution specifically mentions five mines of concern: the Tulsequah Chief in the Taku River watershed; the Galore Creek, Red Chris and Schaft Creek mines in the Stikine River watershed; and the proposed Kerr-Sulpherets-Mitchell mine in the headwaters of the Unuk River.
Other Southeast Alaska communities have taken similar action. Sitka, Wrangell, Petersburg, Tenakee Springs and Port Alexander all have either passed resolutions or written to Alaska’s congressional delegation, urging the United States to intervene.
Also on Monday, the Assembly will consider a $250,000 grant to the City of Saxman to help pay for the Edwin Dewitt Carving Center expansion project. That money would come out of the borough’s cruise passenger head tax funds.
Monday’s meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in Borough Assembly chambers at the White Cliff building. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.