Mine could jeopardize sockeye salmon

People should be concerned about the Taseko Mines Ltd.’s proposal.

Editor:

Re: Taseko Mines proposed New Prosperity Mine.

All persons who are sports fishers, First Nations or commercial fishers or even those of us who merely buy fresh caught sockeye salmon for dinner, should be concerned about the Taseko Mines Ltd.’s proposal to develop a gold/copper open–pit mine in the Chilko/Taseko watershed.

This is major spawning water for B.C.’s Fraser River sockeye salmon.

The Fraser River sockeye run is the largest on Canada’s west coast. In 2010, over 10 million sockeye were caught by commercial, First Nations, and sports fishers in locations from the tidal waters, through the Fraser River delta, the Fraser Canyon and to further reaches of the Fraser River system of tributaries.

Over a 15-year period, government fisheries staff tells us that 25 per cent of the Fraser River sockeye spawn in the Chilko/Taseko watershed — right where the Taseko Mines Ltd. proposes to construct their mine.

Gold/copper mines have historically caused great damage to fisheries and high cost to taxpayers who eventually pay for reclamation and remediation.

Taseko Mines Ltd.’s first proposal was turned down by Federal Government authorities due to the “unacceptable environmental threats to the ecology.”

The Taseko second “new” proposal shows no real improvement. In fact, the new panel of environmental specialists recently appointed by the federal government has just indicated that the Taseko Mines “new” Environmental Impact Statement has major deficiencies in its contents regarding impact on valued ecosystems.

It is clear to many of us that this second try by Taseko continues to be unacceptable, not just to us, but also to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s panel.

All outdoors people should speak up against this mine. If this Taseko Mine is approved, you may find that the next similar mine could be located in your favourite place to fish, and that your salmon dinner comes from Russia or Alaska.

Jack Monk

Surrey

(Former Cariboo fishing guide)

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