Tuesday April 25, 2023

Alaska Sporting Journal

Representative Mary Peltola, D-AK, today made a statement and issued a press release asserting her “support for an International Watershed Board to address mining impacts on British Columbia and Southeast Alaska rivers.” The statement comes as the International Joint Commission, a U.S. and Canadian commission that prevents and resolves disputes under the U.S.-Canada Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909, meets this week in Washington, D.C. to discuss, among other topics, British Columbia’s ongoing and threatened contamination of international rivers flowing from the Canadian province of British Columbia (B.C.) into Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Washington states.

“With this statement, Representative Peltola makes clear that she stands with Tribes and Southeast Alaska communities to defend our clean water, wild salmon rivers, and wild salmon ways of life from Canada’s risky, acidic, large-scale mining upriver,” said Salmon Beyond Borders director Breanna Walker. “We thank Representative Peltola for her leadership and we call on the Biden Administration to act quickly and decisively to implement international watershed boards through the International Joint Commission, and to ensure Americans downstream are able to meet Canadians at the table — so that we don’t have to meet them at the disaster cleanup site.”

A watershed board is an international process established through the International Watersheds Initiative of the International Joint Commission and Boundary Waters Treaty that brings together people from all impacted jurisdictions. Leaders throughout Southeast Alaska are calling for the establishment of those protections, and for the Biden Administration to ensure a watershed board is in place, before B.C. expands existing mines or develops new ones in the Taku, Stikine-Iskut, and Unuk-Nass watersheds, which flow from B.C. into Southeast Alaska.

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