October 8, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Heather Hardcastle, Salmon Beyond Borders, (907) 209-8486, email@example.com
Greg Knox, SkeenaWild, (250) 615-1990, firstname.lastname@example.org
Polls show overwhelming Alaska and British Columbia support for shared watershed protection
Results provide public mandate for Governor Walker and Secretary Kerry to take strong action to protect Southeast Alaska from upstream B.C. mining
(Juneau) Two new polls show Alaskans and British Columbians overwhelmingly support increased protection for water, fish, jobs and culture from mining development taking place in northwest British Columbia (B.C). The region includes the transboundary watersheds of the Taku, Stikine and Unuk Rivers that originate in B.C. and flow into Alaska.
“Time and again, Alaskans have raised concerns about upstream mining in B.C. and now polling shows B.C. citizens share our concerns and are less likely to support mines that could impact downstream resources. This provides a clear mandate for significant action by government and industry to ensure B.C.’s mining development doesn’t harm salmon, water quality, jobs and way of life downstream,” said Heather Hardcastle, Salmon Beyond Borders campaign director and commercial fisherman.
The two polls, one in Alaska and one in B.C., were commissioned by Salmon Beyond Borders in Alaska and SkeenaWild in B.C., and were conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. A summary of the results include:
“I urge leaders in Alaska and Washington, D.C. to take note that three-quarters of Alaskans polled want an equal seat at the table with B.C to ensure our concerns about upstream B.C. mining are addressed in shared Alaska/B.C. transboundary watersheds. The involvement of the International Joint Commission, established under the Boundary Waters Treaty, is the obvious choice to provide this table that will assist in developing permanent protections for water quality and fisheries in this region,” said Hardcastle.
Additional results from the B.C. poll should provide further impetus for action by government and industry, including:
Greg Knox, Executive Director of SkeenaWild, said, "These results show the people of British Columbia are not willing to give mining companies social license to proceed with projects if they believe salmon, water and wildlife on either side of the border could be at risk. The Mount Polley disaster and ongoing acid mine drainage from the Tulsequah Chief mine in the Taku River watershed also confirm the need for much tougher regulations and enforcement in B.C., as well as greater financial assurances to pay for accidents. The polls are clear that broad, commonsense reforms are needed to improve trust on both sides of the border.”
The Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research live-interview survey involved 805 BC adults eligible to vote, including an oversample of 200 residents of Northern British Columbia, and was conducted between August 19 and 30, 2015. The sample is subject to a margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error is higher among subgroups. Its live survey of Alaskans involved 500 registered Alaskan voters during the same period and is considered accurate within a margin of error of +/-4.4, 19 times out of 20.
For additional information on the Alaska poll, see http://salmonbeyondborders.org/press-releases and for more information on the British Columbia poll, see https://skeenawild.org/news .