Despite DNR decision, coal mine could happen

Alaska salmon scored a partial victory this week, but PacRim’s coal mine could still happen.

On Tuesday, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources granted an instream flow reservation, or IFR, to Chuitna Citizen’s Coalition for the lower section of Middle Creek. Middle Creek is part of the watershed for a proposed coal mine, and an integral part of the drainage process necessary to complete the mine. 

Chuitna Citizens Coalition, Cook Inletkeeper and the Alaska Center for the Environment have filed for IFRs, each one for a section of Middle Creek. Only Chuitna Citizen’s Coalition’s IFR for the lower section was granted by DNR.

The coalition characterized DNR’s decision as a “dodge,” and a concession to the coal industry at the expense of Alaska salmon.