Alaska is home to the largest remaining pristine ecosystems in the United States. Trustees for Alaska works to ensure it stays that way. Without vigilance, Alaska’s iconic and pristine character could become one of toxic dust, dirty water, and devastated fish and wildlife populations. Alaskans rely on clean water and air and toxic-free environments. Not only are two of Alaska’s major economic drivers—fishing and tourism—reliant on that unspoiled quality, but everyday Alaskans who provide for their families working in those industries or by hunting, fishing, and gathering also rely on clean air and water.
Large-scale industrial mining projects threaten Alaska’s clean air and water. Once in place, these mines emit toxic dust into our air, draw clean water out of our streams, and discharge dirty water laden with chemicals onto the tundra, and into our rivers and oceans. Under current state statutes and regulations, there is hardly any oversight to minimize the environmental impacts of mineral exploration. Public notice and the ability for citizens to weigh in on decisions directly affecting them are limited or nonexistent. The scale tips toward mining companies—often from foreign countries—and away from Alaskans. Trustees for Alaska works to bring the scale back into balance so that we aren’t compromising our clean air, clean water, and healthy subsistence resources.