Just north of Dillingham, thousands of king salmon are entering the Nushegak river. Just over the hill, the Agluowak is brimming with Arctic char, sockeye salmon and rainbow trout. These waterways are in the drop-dead gorgeous Wood-Tikchik State Park, where your amasser of Friday facts is currently enjoying a visit. Here are a few Friday facts about the park, and about the nearby Pebble Mine.
- Wood-Tikchik State Park is the largest state park in Alaska and the United States.
- At 1.6 million acres, it’s about the size of Delaware.
- There are 15 major lakes in the park, varying in length from 15-45 miles, and can be as deep at 900 feet.
- The Agulowak provides spawning grounds for 200,000 sockeye salmon and passes 1.2 million others to higher spawning grounds in the drainage.
- Some of those salmon in the park waterways will make their way to the site of the proposed Pebble Mine, which, if built, would be one of the largest gold and copper mines in the world.
- Callan J. Chythlook-Sifsof from Aleknagik, Alaska was a member of the United States snowboarding team in the 2010 Winter Olympics and is training for the 2014 Winter Olympics. She has some things to say about Pebble Mine in Thursday’s New York Times in a piece entitled, “Native Alaska, Under Threat.”
- Gold fell 23 percent in second quarter to close at $1,223.80 an ounce on Friday, the lowest it’s been in about three years. Mining companies are taking it hard. If things continue, Donald Marleau an analyst at Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said that he would expect the market to downgrade mining companies.
- In the past 52 weeks, Northern Dynasty’s stock has fluctuated between $5.40 and $1.85. It closed on Friday at $2.09. Northern Dynasty’s principle asset is Pebble Mine. In 2007, the company partnered with mining giant Anglo American plc. Which is required to fund US$1.5 billion of project costs to retain its 50 percent interest.
- In the past 52 weeks, Anglo American’s stock has fluctuated between $16.96 to $9.53. On Friday, its stock closed at $9.63.
- In 2010, 538 Washington residents held drift gillnet and set gillnet commercial salmon fishing licenses in Bristol Bay, off of which they made a total gross estimated earnings of about $60 million.
- The 2010 census counted 299 residents in both Iliamna and Newhalen, two communities closest to the mine. Out of those, only 26 had commercial fishing permits, and only 22 fished those permits, according to the Alaska’s Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission.
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