Chickaloon Coal Project
The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority put up nearly a quarter of the Matanuska Valley Moose Range for lease in 2006. Riversdale Alaska currently holds the lease to over 22,000 acres of prime moose habitat surrounding the quiet community of Chickaloon for coal exploration and development.
The coal is proposed for export to Asia, where it will be burned for steel refining. Most of the mercury pollution currently cited in Alaska is from coal being burned in developing countries across the Pacific Ocean.
The large and active Castle Mountain Fault runs adjacent to the lease area. Recent studies have linked coal exploration and development to an increased incidence of earthquakes.
Consider the amounts of coal dust that could be spread by our Matanuska winds... one such example of this has already been borne out in Seward as a result of Usibelli coal being stockpiled for shipment to Asia. Do we want our children, elders and subsistence resources to be likewise contaminated?
Castle Mountain Coalition is absolutely opposed to this massive project, due the short and long-term degrading effects that such a project would have on the local economy, residents and ecosystem.
There are 250 residents in the Chickaloon area who have so much to lose if this project becomes a reality. Eighty-five businesses are dependant on the tourism generated by the unique natural beauty of this watershed.
Its time for the people of Alaska to step forward and create an economy that is not based on non-renewable resource development. We must put our ecosystem, its residents and the visitors that it attracts, first. The economic value of keeping our valley in its natural state is enormous.
Currently, Riversdale Alaska has ceased exploration on their Castle Mountain coal lease and has shut their office doors. Even though Riversdale Alaska is not currently pursuing development of their coal lease in Chickaloon, this issue is not yet dead and could re-surface with Riversdale Alaska or another coal company.
Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the Castle Mountain Coalition and our website: www.castlemountaincoalition.org. There you will find out how to help: who to write to, how to send donations and what to do next.