Prioritize Salmon


Pelicans were saved...

Strategic Approach for Land Management and Organization, Natively. (SALMON) is a simple way to manage resources in a sustainable manner.

Still digging like in 1920?

I wonder why the EPA considers open pit mining to be an option in 2012, and now, in 2019. I believe "SALMON", as described below, is the better course. September 7, 2007 (the original publish date) is long gone, yet the EPA lets open-pit miners rape and plunder the land like drunken pirates. 

What sort of project is this Pebble Project?

Well, it goes like this: 

  • Dig a big hole thousands of feet deep over many square miles in pristine wilderness
  • Process the ore into valuable copper and gold
  • Dump the billions of tons of mine tailings and waste rock all over the watershed and landscape
  • Leave the waste for our grandchildren to deal with ( a big liability of higher taxes with no benefits for future generations

Here is an updated version of what is going on now, 12 years later, with this screwed up mine proposal.

What amazes me is the complete lack of innovative thinking about this. The Bristol Bay watershed is home to the largest salmon run in the world. Would an open pit mine in the largest reef in the world (Great Barrier Reef) make sense too? I really don't think so. If the Alaskan natives are against the project in its present form, then the project project needs to dropped, because the Alaskan natives, who have lived there for centuries, obviously know what is better for the land than the EPA does.

What will the mine produce?

  • Toxic byproducts of the mining process behind an earthen dam in an earthquake active zone
  • Tailings storage facility larger than the mine itself
  • Waste rock storage facility larger than the mine itself
  • A few jobs for a few decades for the locals
  • Large profits for the mine owners


Why is the project viable to the mine owners (Rio Tinto, Mitsubishi, etc)?

Well, of course, since they can just dump the tailings and waste rock, instead of doing a complete job of processing, they will make billions of dollars of profit. Never mind that to be generated future generations pickup a big liability.

Get to the point. What is the solution?

The solution is very simple. Civilization can no longer afford the utter inefficiency of open pit mining. NIMBY is simply everyone's assessment of how ridiculous these 19th century methods are. Instead, as a policy matter, the EPA needs to require the following basic SALMON requirements from mining companies:

  • No waste rock storage facilities
  • No tailings storage facilities
  • No toxic byproducts from the mining process sitting behind short-lived dams
  • No significant changes to transport infrastructure

How can this be achieved?

Please listen to me very carefully. Please take a look at your iPhone or your Android phone. Does it look like a rotary phone from the 1920's? Well, of course, it does not. Does an open pit mine proposed by the owners look like an open pit mine in the 1920s? Yes, it looks very familiar. Ok. To achieve a project that is attractive for the Alaskan natives, the Pebble Project in Bristol Bay must achieve the same change in technology that is apparent between the iPhone 10 and the rotary phone of 1920. Once that is done, everyone will see, that for civilization, that is a much more rational, profitable and sustainable path. 

What is the net result in what I propose can be achieved?

Of course, a much more viable and profitable mining industry without a NIMBY anchor is the result. In addition, the mining industry will have taken the critical first step needed to make mining on the moon and on Mars viable. In my humble opinion, this is the correct policy action to take with take with mining and extraction.

Why Am I Right?

We landed on the moon with little more than wires, strings and guts. When Galileo said the earth is round, everyone said he's nuts. It takes vision to see iMining take hold. It can be done. Someday, people will wonder why it took us so long to adopt this model.

James Danforth, CEO
Starlight Energies