VICTORIA — Alaska and British Columbia have reached an agreement that promises to protect shared environments and collaborate on proposed mining projects that have raised concerns on both sides of the border.
Premier Christy Clark and Alaska Gov. Bill Walker signed the deal that formalizes commitments to protect transboundary rivers, watersheds and fisheries.
The agreement comes after ongoing protests from U.S. politicians and aboriginal and environmental groups over B.C.'s aspirations to develop mines bordering Alaska or near waterways that support the state's fishery.
Alaska's lieutenant-governor made an extraordinary trip to B.C. last May to visit the site of the Mount Polley mine tailings pond disaster in an effort to ensure his state would not be damaged by a similar catastrophe.
Aboriginal leaders from B.C. and Alaska attended a shareholders meeting last June to protest plans by Seabridge Gold (TSX:SEA) to develop a large open pit mine near the B.C.-Alaska border.
B.C.'s Energy Minister Bill Bennett has made two trips to Alaska in the past year meeting with political, industry and aboriginal officials in an effort to alleviate concerns over B.C.'s mining industry and environmental regulations.
The Canadian Press