Trump Jr surprises everyone after opposing controversial Alsakan mine

Greg Evans
Thursday 06 August 2020 09:30
Picture:(Rick Wilking/ Reuters/Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Donald Trump Jr is well known for saying completely outrageous things, embarrassing himself on social media and spreading conspiracy theories, so it is odd to be reporting that he has actually done something positive (albeit, possibly, for his own benefit).

Alaska's Bristol Bay is in the easternmost arm of the Bearing Sea in the southwest of the US state and is essentially a wilderness home to mostly fat bears and the world's largest population of sockeye salmon. It's a prime hunting area but is also key for the fishing industry.

That's why the proposed new mine gold and copper mine in the area could seriously damage the ecological fabric and has attracted opposition from locals, the Alaskan population, the Environmental Protection Agency and yes, Donald Trump Jr who said in a tweet that the location was "too unique and fragile to take any chances with".

Along with the mine, the project would also require a new transportation system, multiple power plants, a new port, a 188-mile gas line and a wastewater treatment plant.

As a keen fisherman and hunter Trump Jr's intentions are seemingly based on his own interests and not from an environmental standpoint but his voice could be crucial in whether the so-called 'Pebble Mill project' actually gets the green light or not, and his unlikely stance has seen him win a rare amount of support on social media from people who usually can't stand him.

As always with Trump Jr, he did get some backlash, mostly from people who support the mine as well as those taking exception to him branding himself as a 'sportsman'.

Another notable critic of the mine is Nick Ayers, the former chief of staff to Mike Pence who urged Donald Trump to block the construction of the facility, which he believed that the president will agree with.

Trump Jr's stance has also won support from Democratic senator Maria Cantwell, who said in a statement:

I'm glad to see at least one Trump believes the mine is too risky. The science is clear -- you can't put a gold and copper mine on top of the most productive salmon run in the world and not have substantial and permanent damage. Salmon and mining simply do not mix.

According to CNN, the US Army Corps of Engineers issued a report in July that stated the project would not cause any long term damage to the area, which is a contrast to what was reported about the project by the Obama administration.

The Bristol Bay watershed is one of the last remaining large salmon runs in the world and produces close to half of the planet's wild sockeye salmon catch every year. Its ecological resources also help support an estimated 14,000 jobs and some 4,000-year-old indigenous cultures.