For several years, EcoFlight has had the privilege to fly Alaskan tribal leaders over mining operations in Nevada, to enable those leaders to gain a better understanding of the impacts that mining could have on their communities and landscapes.
The proposed Pebble Creek Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska, is a controversial plan to build one of the largest mines in the world, in an area considered to be one of the world's largest and most pristine wild salmon spawning grounds.
The Pebble Mine deposit is currently estimated to be the second largest ore deposit of its type in the world and has drawn strong opposition from fishermen, tribal leaders, conservationists and other community members.
The mine would require an immense open pit, as well as permanent storage of acidic and metallic waste, a 65-mile road cutting through virgin country and crossing numerous salmon streams. In addition there would be pipelines, a power plant and a major new deep water port on Cook Inlet, home to an endangered beluga whale population.
Watch this EcoFlight video of gold mining in Nevada from the perspective of Shoshone and Alaskan native peoples.