Editor’s note: Lisa Stevenson sent this letter to Russell Dann, in response to his July 16 letter to Mat-Su Borough Mayor Larry DeVilbiss regarding the company’s coal exploration activities in Chickaloon.
Stevenson also sent it to the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman.
To the editor:
First, the delineation/clarification of the various Riversdales are clear as mud — a poor smokescreen, to say the least.
We know that you are the same operators of the company that operated in Mozambique and then sold out to Rio Tinto. We fully expect that you intend to do the same to our community. We’ve read about how your main goal for this summer is to expand your footprint in our Valley.
What we want to know is how you plan to do that? Are you looking for more leases? Looking for private property? Planning on attempting to open up yet more subsistence lands in our backyards?
Second, you write that all helicopter operations were conducted via FAA flight standards and that no private lands were mapped.
To this date, an investigation through flight logs with GPS coordinates has not taken place, so your assurances are unwelcome to the many residents who witnessed your hired airships flying directly over homes with slung loads.
When we look back at your operations in Africa, it is clear that the DIGHEM mapping extends past lease boundaries, and with the dozens of passes that the helicopters made over my property and many others, I expect the same happened here.
Finally, I am quite certain that your query to private landowners (who pay property taxes for the land that contains the untitled access) did not give you free and clear permit to go through our neighborhood to drill your coreholes.
Of the 15 or so you “asked,” I can think of at least half a dozen who have given a definitive “no.” So while I am exceedingly curious to see how things progress, I am drawn to reflect on your partner, Steve Mallyon, and his quote “our philosophy as a group has always been that if people don’t want us there, we don’t want to be there. We’d rather go and do something else if that’s the case.”
Well, I’m here to tell you that we don’t want you here — not only my family, but hundreds of families in Chickaloon, Sutton and Palmer have signed up to fight against mining our neighborhoods out from under us.