Supports tribes' rejection of port

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 11, 2013 

The 57 Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians took historic action unanimously adopting a resolution opposing the Gateway Pacific coal terminal. Protecting sacred ancestral territories and resources at Cherry Point is crucial to their history, culture and way of life. Cherry Point has sustained the essence of our first Americans for generations. The 1,200 jobs Gateway Pacific Terminal promises seems a bad exchange for what the Lummi Nation will lose forever. I believe demolishing history to provide electricity to China is immoral and profits few. Cherry Point is crucial to the fishing economy and to preserving reef-net sites existing 3,500 years. What will be the loss of jobs in tribal and commercial fisheries and recreational industries? In 2009 state fish and wildlife estimated the commercial fishing industry provided 60,250 jobs. In 2011, commercial fisheries generated $3.9 billion in personal income. This will all change with 970 transits of vessels the size of three football fields hauling 150 million tons of coal yearly between Lummi and Orcas through 10-mile wide Unimak Pass and Rosario Strait, and devastate the nation's treaty and its aboriginal fishing areas and sacred places. Many local jobs depend on these resources. SSA Marine and Goldman Sachs or our nation's first people? Be courageous and preserve our Pacific Norhtwest. Stand with the salmon people of the Northwest as stewards of Cherry Point and the Salish Sea.

Louann Chapman

Bellingham

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