The tribal government of Klukwan filed a lawsuit Monday against the Bureau of Land Management, accusing it of failing to protect culturally-important salmon habitat and world’s largest bald eagle congregation from mining on the Chilkat River.
Filed in U.S. District Court on Monday, the suit alleges that BLM neglected its duties when permitting expansions of mineral exploration in the area in the last year and a half.
Permitting mineral exploration would eventually lead to the creation of a hard rock mine, the suit argues, which has been shown to negatively affect water bodies downstream.
Mining companies conduct mineral exploration in hopes of documenting the existence of valuable ore bodies. Smaller exploration companies often then sell their claims to larger extraction companies after they’ve proved valuable.