Acclaimed author, anthropologist and National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis will speak in Juneau this evening at the invitation of Trout Unlimited Alaska.
Davis will speak about the Sacred Headwaters and how First Nations and others worked to protect this salmon stronghold -- the birthplace of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine Rivers -- from industrial development. The Sacred Headwaters is a stunning valley in northwest British Columbia that gives rise to three of Canada’s most important salmon rivers.
Davis will be joined by Annita McPhee, President of Tahltan Central Council, Tahltan elder Mary Dennis, and Richard Peterson, President of Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. Alaska tribes and some First Nations have begun forging cross-border dialogue about how they can work together to protect transboundary salmon, clean water and culture that is facing threats from large-scale Canadian mines proposed for the transboundary region.
A panel discussion will follow Davis’ presentation. Davis is the author many books, including The Sacred Headwaters: The Fight to Save the Stikine, Skeena and Nass (2011.)
Davis talk about how lessons learned from the Sacred Headwaters campaign might be applied to threats facing Southeast Alaska.
Five acid-generating mines are planned for the headwaters of three of Southeast Alaska’s richest salmon rivers: the Stikine, Unuk and Taku. One of the projects, KSM, rivals in size and scope even the proposed Pebble mine in Bristol Bay and could be just as devastating to wild salmon and other fish. Alaska fishermen, tribes, tourism operators and others are trying to get the U.S. State Department involved to protect Southeast Alaska, home of the 17-million-acre Tongass National Forest.
Alaska’s congressional delegation recently asked the State Department to engage with their Canadian counter-parts to ensure that appropriate environmental safeguards are put in place to protect Alaska’s interests should the mines be built.