Comment letter in support of Wishbone Hill permit renewals


September 8, 2021

Mr. Russell Kirkham
Division of Mining, Land and Water
State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 920
Anchorage, AK 99501

Submitted via [email protected]

Re: Renewal request for the Wishbone Hill Mine, Permit Numbers 01-89-796 & 02-89-796.

Dear. Mr. Kirkham, 

The Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc. (RDC) is writing to comment in support of the renewal request for the Wishbone Hill Mine, Permit Numbers 01-89-796 & 02-89-796. 

RDC is a statewide trade association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s fishing, forestry, mining, oil and gas, and tourism industries. RDC’s membership includes Alaska Native corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

The Wishbone Hill project, located on State, Mental Health Trust, and private land five miles west of Sutton, has been permitted every five years since 1992.

As you are aware, the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) enforces stringent regulations overseeing mining activities statewide that effectively protect the environment, wildlife, and human health. The Wishbone Hill permit application closely follows these regulations. Usibelli Coal Mine holds an outstanding record for operating mines in Alaska and began instituting reclamation efforts before it was required by law to do so.

The Wishbone Hill permit application outlines an extensive reclamation plan, including the enhancement of wildlife and recreational habitat as post-mining priorities. These environmentally-sound practices combined with the economic benefits the mine would provide for a win-win situation in the Matanuska-Susitna region.

RDC urges DNR to approve these permits without further delay. Approval of these permits would show that Alaska is open for business.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this renewal application.