Robert Redford: Pebble Mine Gouging Will Harm Environment, Salmon Rivers

Image: Robert Redford: Pebble Mine Gouging Will Harm Environment, Salmon Rivers Robert Redford, left, and a Sockeye salmon caught in Alaska's Nushagak River, in the area of the proposed Pebble Mine.

Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 02:27 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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Robert Redford has been crusading to stop the Pebble Mine since 2010, which he said will harm the environment and salmon rivers. Now the actor is pleading with his supporters to join him in fighting the "worst corporate attack on America's natural heritage that no one's ever heard of."

Calling it "a remnant of American wilderness as it used to be," Redford is urging people to join him with the Natural Resources Defense Council to stop the Pebble Mine, a colossal open-pit copper-and-gold mine that a consortium of global mining giants want to gouge out of the wilderness above Alaska's Bristol Bay.

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Redford claims the proposed Pebble Mine would ruin the Kvichak and Nushagak, some of the world's greatest wild salmon river systems.

"Tens of millions of salmon course through this unspoiled Eden, feeding not just an abundance of bears, whales, seals, and eagles but also the Alaskan Native communities that have thrived here for thousands of year," Redford wrote.

Redford also fears the Pebble Mine would release toxic waste, causing an environmental disaster.

"This monstrosity will spew some 10 billion tons of mining waste, laces with toxic chemicals, that must be held back forever by massive earthen dams up to 50 stories tall — all in an active earthquake zone," he wrote.

Redford's plea included another letter from the National Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke as well as petitions to protest the Pebble Mine.

"I am convinced we can stop the Pebble Mine by alerting millions of Americans to what's at stake," Redford wrote. "Building this kind of outcry needs to happen one person at a time, starting with you."

Redford, best known for his films like "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969), "The Sting" (1973), and "All the President's Men" (1976), has served on the NRDC's Board of Trustees for 35 years.

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Related links:

Ruth Ann Steinhagen Dies: Inspired 'The Natural' Book, Movie Starring Robert Redford

Redford Slams Utah Conservatives Who Want to Cut Sundance Film Fest Funding

Robert Redford: Bush Owes Us an Apology

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