Thursday, September 11, 2014

Act to protect Bristol Bay, Alaska by Sep 19

Dear Friend of Creation Care,

On August 12, 2014 Bishop David Mahaffey and Bishop Shelley Wickstrom, and I, Executive Presbyter for the Presbytery of Yukon in Alaska, testified before the EPA concerning the Pebble Mine and Bristol Bay. 

In 2012 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) went on record as fully supporting the EPA in its work of protecting and restoring the environment. We are grateful for the EPA's work now and consider its involvement important.

Presbyterian denominational policy states: "Indeed, Presbyterians understand God’s creation to be sacred, and therefore it is something that can be desecrated."

In this case, the Bristol Bay watershed, the world’s largest salmon spawning habitat, has flourished for millennia with local residents participating in the bounty and care for that habitat.  Now the reports are in and the science is clear: this mine puts the watershed at risk. Pebble Mine might provide jobs and products for a generation or two, but it would put an ancient and sacred habitat at risk, as well as the unique way of life of the Alaskans who have cared for it so effectively.  This mine risks the ‘desecration’ of that watershed to satisfy one or two generations’ desires.  We need to assure that Alaskans can always live in harmony with this watershed habitat, that they can always enjoy the fishery jobs this watershed provides, and that this ancient Alaskan way of life can continue. 

Join the two bishops and me in an interfaith request to invoke and implement the 404-C protections provided through the Clean Water Act. Ask the EPA to protect this incredible piece of God’s creation today. The comment period ends September 19 so don’t delay!

Working together for God's Creation,
Rev. Curtis Karns
Executive Presbyter for the Presbytery of Yukon
PEC Northwest Regional Representative

Lively, leaping salmon, clear splashing water, sacred rivers, lakes and streams—no where is your handiwork more evident, Holy One!  Give us, we pray, the will to keep your beautiful Bristol Bay watershed the way you created it. Amen.

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