150 years ago today, the official ownership of “Russian America” (aka Alaska) was transferred from Russia to the United States after declines in fur, timber and coal trades here and the challenge of sustaining these industries from Moscow became too much to bear.
Beauty wasn’t considered to be of much use at the time, so Alaska was sold for US$9 million in gold. A pretty good price for what turned out to be an incredibly rich landmass.
Since then, Alaska has been a land known for its wilderness, ruggedness, independent character, and diverse beauty on a grand scale.
Tourism and fishing (sustainable and relatively low footprint) have been among the celebrated top industries in the state, drawing money in and providing jobs throughout.
Now, more than ever, thanks to a Presidential administration rooted in actual ignorance, Alaska is facing threats to one of its biggest exports: salmon. Discounting years of scientific research proving that an open pit mine at the headwaters of the LARGEST sockeye salmon fishery in the world posed a very real threat to the clean water these salmon need to survive and thrive, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, in a meeting that lasted less than one hour and without so much as glancing at the documented years of scientific research proving what a really bad idea an open pit mine at the headwaters of this fishery would be, approved the removal of environmental restrictions that had limited Pebble Mine’s access to a permit.
LESS THAN ONE HOUR.
This is one of a handful of gargantuan threats facing this great state’s sacred nurseries (be they caribou calving or salmon spawning grounds).
Take it upon yourself to celebrate Alaska Day by becoming educated about how you can stand up and put your weight against some of these impending unnatural disasters. We owe it to what we have left. #alaskaday #nopebblemine #salmonlove #bristolbay