Concerned mine would harm jobs

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 16, 2013 

Last week, a letter was written comparing the copper industry in the Democratic Republic of Congo to the proposed Pebble Mine of Bristol Bay. He stated fishermen would benefit with increased transportation and electrical power.

My husband John, a professional fisherman, and many other local fishing families see without a doubt the negative consequences of this destructive project.

Increased power for the exchange of devastation? What? Scientists predict the project will eliminate major portions of what is now a $1.5 billion fishery providing 3,200 jobs to Washington residents. It's ludicrous for the writer to refer to numbers from the mining company's plan when the plan has yet to exist.

Constructing the world's largest open-pit copper mine at the headwaters of the fishery can never replace the value and heritage of nearly 1,000 Whatcom County jobs that rely on Bristol Bay's productive waters and fisheries. What Pebble would do is needlessly damage the world's greatest remaining sockeye salmon fishery and its self-sustaining economic benefits.

Whatcom County has a strong fishing economy. Business's that benefit from Bristol Bay include over 250 skippers, an estimated 450 crew plus Strongback Boats, Inc, B&C Fiberglass and LFS, Inc. Why needlessly jeopardize those jobs?

Patti Fairbanks

Bellingham

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