By Greta Mart/KHNS
Haines resident Leia Minch is traveling to Juneau early Wednesday morning, carrying several pairs of donated Xtratuf boots. There she’ll meet other activists on the steps of Alaska’s capitol to present the boots to Governor Walker. Here’s Minch:
“We want the Governor to get extra tough on enforcing the Boundary Waters Treaty. And we want to see some action.” said Minch.
The capitol steps rally coincides with a current visit by senior British Columbian energy and mines officials. The Canadian officials are touring Southeast Alaska this week, meeting with Lt. Governor Byron Mallott and other Alaskan officials to discuss issues concerning trans-boundary mines. The B.C. delegation is also meeting with tribal, business and development groups and the Alaska Miners Association.
Minch says another purpose of this week’s rally is to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Mount Polley Mine disaster, when a copper mine’s tailings dam failed in the Fraser River watershed in British Columbia.
Minch works at the American Bald Eagle Foundation. She says after moving to Haines last May, she became increasingly concerned with environmental threats to Southeast Alaska. So she became a volunteer for local conservation groups.
“I’m also collecting stories from SE Alaskans on why clean water and salmon streams are important to them,” said Minch.
Members of Inside Passage Waterkeeper, Salmon Beyond Borders and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council plan to attend Wednesday’s rally, set for noon at the Juneau State Capitol. Inside Passage Waterkeeper is the sponsor of the “Extra Tough” campaign.
Minch encourages those who wish to donate boots or get involved in the campaign to contact here directly at 661-557-1108 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.