Norm Van Vactor of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp. said he thought the hearings went very, very well. There was an awful lot of testimony, he said, from small children to adults in need of translators. But Van Vactor also said it was frustrating to have to go back to the drawing board again.
“Sadly it can also be said that this isn’t about mining or minerals, he said. “It is about mining in the stock market and people making a play to make a lot of money quickly in the stock market and leaving other people holding the bag, he said. But meantime the rest of us have to spend a lot of time working on an issue that should be over and done with,” he said.
Pebble Partnership spokesman Mike Heatwole said he felt that the EPA heard a more balanced mix of views in Iliamna.
In a related manner, United Tribes of Bristol Bay and the Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission say they will announce their intent to formalize today their efforts to stop proposed mega-mines in their respective regions. Veteran Bristol Bay fisherman Robert Heyano, president of United Tribes of Bristol Bay, said they are uniting efforts to protect their peoples’ way of life from mega-mines threatening their continued existence.