ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — Ralliers are gearing up to protest the Pebble Mine Project outside the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, where a public hearing on the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement is well underway Tuesday evening.
Five anti-Pebble groups are hosting the rally — Save Bristol Bay, The Alaska Center, Cook Inletkeeper, The United Tribes of Bristol Bay, and Trout Unlimited Alaska. Police have cordoned the area between 6th and 7th Ave. on F Street, just outside of the Dena’ina Center.
Second Chief for Curyung Tribal Council and Director of Natural Resources for Bristol Bay Native Association Gayla Hoseth is one of the key speakers for the opposition.
“Our people have been saying 'no Pebble Mine' for over a decade,” Hoseth said. “For us to only have seven hearings in the Bristol Bay Region is not very beneficial for the people of our region in Bristol Bay who will be the most impacted by this mine.”
Pebble Partnership spokesman Mike Heatwole says the protesters are exercising their First Amendment rights.
"They are certainly welcome to do that, and obviously this is a focal point to attempt to be heard,” Heatwole said, adding that they're not alone.
Heatwole said there is a group of people from Iliamna Lake who are in Anchorage in favor of the mine, “who wanted a chance to share their views, which is largely about wanting to see the full process work and see about what this could mean as an opportunity in terms of jobs in an area where there really isn’t a lot of economic activity.”
The rally began 5:30, and ends around 6:15 in front of the Dena’ina Center.
This is a developing story.